In the Works - Community Newsletter In the Works June 2017 - Page 51

To our delight, we were invited to join in a small but festive sidewalk parade in Diamond Heights on June 23 to rejoice in the construction of a new sidewalk on Diamond Heights Boulevard where there hadn’t been one before. “This has made a big difference in my life,” said Sue Johnson, who has lived the last eight years at Casa de Vida, a housing complex on the 5100 block of Diamond Heights Boulevard. Johnson, like many of her neighbors in the ADA-accessible residence, uses a wheelchair to get around. Without sidewalks, she and others often were forced to travel in the roadway to go shopping or catch a bus. At the urging of the Diamond Heights Community Association, and with the support of then-District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, Public Works developed a two-phase plan to construct 16,000 square feet of new sidewalk in the neighborhood. Diamond Heights was developed in the middle of last century when cars were king and sidewalks were an afterthought – at best. But as the view-rich neighborhood evolved, the demand for safe pedestrian passage to shopping and transit grew. The first phase was completed in the spring of 2016. The final phase is set to be wrapped up this fall. The tab for the new sidewalks is $540,000. Additional work, including 42 new curb ramps, new water main, bulb-outs to shorten the crossing distance across Diamond Heights Boulevard, a flashing beacon light and fresh paving, is being done for a total cost of $3.5 million. But it is the new sidewalks that capture attention. Wiener and his successor as the District 8 representative on the Board of Supervisors, Jeff Sheehy, came for the parade, which started and ended outside of Casa de Vida. So did Public Works staff, neighbors and a pastor from nearby St. Aidan’s Church, who blessed the new accessible paved pathways and noted how they are community connectors. And at the end of the day, that’s worth celebrating. June 2017 - San Francisco Public Works Newsletter