Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Jane Warner Plaza planters to be down-sized due to “bad behavior”

The planter on the border of Jane Warner will be down-sized in response to complaints about misuse of the parklet.

The planter on the border of Jane Warner will be down-sized in response to complaints about misuse of the parklet.

Two of the planters at Jane Warner Plaza are set to be down-sized due to “bad behaviors” at the medium-sized parklet in San Francisco’s gay Castro district.

The pedestrian plaza on 17th Street, where it connects to the intersection of Castro and Market streets, had undergone some minor modifications last year as part of a major overhaul of the streetscape on Castro Street. The parklet was repaved in such a way that the planters were closer to ground level.

Neighborhood leaders contend that led to people allowing their pets to pee in the planters, sleep amid the landscaping, or use them as storage for bags and other items. The situation led to city officials holding a community meeting to address the issue and announce they would close down the plaza for several months, as the Bay Area Reporter reported last month.

The Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, which assists the city with upkeep and activation of the parklet, has since stopped putting out tables and chairs in the plaza for people to use. But as of this morning (Thursday, March 5), the plaza still remained open for people to either pass through or congregate on the planters.

This planter near gay bar Twin Peaks will also be reduced in size.

This planter near gay bar Twin Peaks will also be reduced in size.

Andrea Aiello, the CBD’s executive director, told the B.A.R. that the city has yet to determine how to pay for the estimated $55,000 it will cost to reduce the two planter beds.

Along with the one fronting the entrance to the gas station, the planter near the doors to gay bar Twin Peaks will also be shortened.

“As soon as they start construction, the plaza will be less accessible,” said Aiello.

It is unknown where the money will come from to pay for the planter remodels, said Aiello. The office of District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro, referred the B.A.R. to the city’s Department of Public Works in response to questions about when the work would commence.

John Dennis, a DPW project manager who oversaw the streetscape work, said Thursday afternoon that reconstruction of the planters had yet to be scheduled.

“We’re still negotiating with contractors about this, so too soon to tell, but we are trying to do this as soon as is feasible,” wrote Dennis in an emailed reply.

Adam Taylor, an aide for Wiener, did inform Castro merchants at their monthly meeting today that city officials and neighborhood leaders are “identifying infrastructure improvements” for the plaza and are “working on a plan for what the plaza will look like.”

Speaking on behalf of Wiener, who was out of town and unable to attend the meeting, Taylor also said that the supervisor continues to work on a list of behavior offenses that could lead to citations from the police in order to clamp down on some of the problems that have been occurring at the parklet the last two months.

“One example would be if you destroy the landscaping by sleeping or putting your stuff on it,” said Taylor.

He reiterated comments Wiener made at the recent town hall about the conditions at the plaza that the focus is not on homeless people but anyone who is not acting appropriately at the parklet.

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 5, 2015 @ 12:29 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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