Multiple Safety Programs Created to Address Community Concerns
(San Francisco – November 9, 2013) In September 2013, Excelsior Action Group (EAG) received funding from District 11 Supervisor Avalos and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to focus on neighborhood safety improvements. The organizations was able to hire Gwynn Mackellen as Safety Coordinator to work with merchants, residents, city staff, and EAG’s Safety Committee members on improving the sense of security and quality of life along the commercial corridor. During the months of August and September, Excelsior Action Group (EAG) collected over one-hundred-and-sixty Hot Spot surveys in-person and online from merchants, residents, and attendees of the Excelsior Festival. These questionnaires asked people to report safety concerns in the Excelsior neighborhood and locations where these issues were a problem. The resulting data was mapped to pinpoint the greatest concentrations of reported “hot spots”. Using this information, EAG conducted a Hot Spot Walk on October 2nd with Supervisor John Avalos, Captain Timothy Falvey and officers from the Ingleside Police Station, a superintendent from Department of Public Works, Safety Coordinator from Excelsior Community Center, Excelsior Safety Committee members, and other neighborhood stakeholders. During the walk, we discussed issues that the City could work with the community on improving. As a result, trash was cleaned up, the greenery in the median along Alemany Blvd was trimmed, street lights were fixed, and two arrests were made at a “hot spot” shortly after.
In order to ensure that dark street lights get repaired across the Excelsior, EAG’s Lights Out Walk on October 25th focused specifically on this issue. Improved lighting can reduce crime by ten percent, and in order for broken lights to be replaced in a timely manner, community members need to be vigilant about reporting them. The walk engaged local students and residents by teaming up to tackle sections of the neighborhood and call in outages to 3-1-1. This event resulted in brighter streets in time for Halloween.
Quality of life issues, such as graffiti and littering, are a common complaint by those who live, work, and shop in the Excelsior. Cleaner streets generate a sense of community pride and help break the cycle of neighborhood degradation. Therefore, EAG sponsored a cleanup on November 2nd along the Excelsior business corridor with Department of Public Works Graffiti Watch Program to paint over tagging and sweep up trash.
The safety of vulnerable road users is a prime concern. Collisions impacting pedestrians increase dramatically after the end of Daylight Saving Time as people travel after dark. Improving visibility is one way to ensure the safety of those traveling by foot, bike, or skateboard. On November 8th EAG passed out reflectors to commuters at transit stops to make them easier to see by car drivers, and providing pedestrian and bicycling safety information in the three languages most common in the Excelsior.