This week was very informative for us as a class and as a group in particular. Having the opportunity to explore the Y2E2 building with Jiffy Vermylen as our tour guide we were able to learn numerous things about sustainability and setting a blueprint for similar projects to follow. In this case the project so to speak, was creating a building that would run off of significantly less energy and embody a passive use of energy and resources (water, heat, etc.) We learned that this building set a blueprint for the remainder of buildings in the Engineering quad, as well as shed new light on how we can conduct our project.
We not only spent time learning about new ways to approach our project, but also received feedback from Outer Sunsent Merchant and Professional Association from the surveys we sent out. We are looking forward to receiving more replies from our other contacts and will be reaching out to two more contacts appointed to us by Dyanna. One of these contacts being Lisa E.J. Pereira who has been in touch with an 8th grade school teacher from Lawton Middle School. This teacher and her students are extremely concerned about pedestrian safety especially on 34th and Lincoln and are willing to hold a workshop with us to discuss firsthand accounts and ideas to improve the safety for pedestrians. This workshop will prove extremely useful in providing the much needed first hand accounts from the perspective of students that frequently access this area and what they feel is the area of most concern for pedestrian safety.
This week was a particularly formative one for us in the ream of scheduling and managing clear communication with community partners. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition kindly took the initiative to schedule short face-to-face meetings with members, and time slots were enthusiastically filled within several hours! It was fantastic to see how our partnership was really coming to life, and so gratifying to see that so many members saw a vested, active interest in improving pedestrian and cyclist access to the park.
With a project of this scale, though, small conflicts and misunderstandings often occur, and we had the opportunity to communicate with the tend to a small one and resolve it as soon as it came about. As there was a mixup with the date of the SF Bicycle Coalition Meetings in the newsletter sent to members, we had to quickly consult with Janice in order to inform the members of the coalition who had signed up for the meetings that the scheduled day was Friday, February 21st rather than Thursday, February 27th (a day during which we had final presentations to complete for other classes and football practice).
With the newfound information from Monday’s tour, we can really approach our project with a passive use of energy and resources in mind. Presenting a completely environmentally friendly pathway in conducting our project will prove of great importance when trying to see that our plan actually is implemented. We also learned from the Y2E2 tour that with new construction, comes cooperation from the people that will be using it. When working to implement new ideas and plans into a community we must not only look at what we want to accomplish, but what will benefit the community the most as well and find a happy medium.
The feedback from our surveys that we’ve received thus far has allowed us to begin gleaming the variety of sentiments from different parties concerning pedestrian and cyclist access to Golden Gate Park. Receiving feedback from the SF Bike Coalition, the La Playa/Great Highway Neighborhood Watch, the Outer Sunset Merchant & Professional Association, the Java Beach Cafe, and the 45th Avenue Neighbors, as well as the students at Lawton Middle School will truly enable us to have a holistic vision of the various improvements needed for the park along Lincoln Way.
As the quarter draws to a close, we’re thrilled to gear up for a strong and successful finish to our project. Our next few weeks will be the most intense and the most instrumental in accomplishing the project deliverables we laid out at the beginning of the quarter. That being said, we must retain a high level of focus and dedication if we hope to yield successful results. Furthermore, this is the most important time to synthesize everything we have learned in the classroom and in the field. As we make our final designs, we are methodically referencing the many facets of sustainable cities and service learning we have covered so that our project aligns with the objectives for each. It is especially critical that we continue to apply the important principles we have learned because our recommended designs could directly impact the living environment of the residents of Lincoln Way. As noted throughout the quarter, we feel responsible to uphold our commitment to both the SF Bike Coalition as well as the other community stakeholders involved in this project.
Thus, we have devised a detailed timeline which will guide our work until the end of the quarter. After our noted scheduling conflicts last week due to poor weather conditions, we have rescheduled our interceptor surveys for this Sunday, February 16. We will spend the majority of the day in the area of Golden Gate Park abutting Lincoln Way, where we will systematically target parkgoers to gague transit patterns into the park. This will then help to inform us about our larger research question of general park accessibility. We will ask the following specific questions, with the hope of sparking a broader conversation:
-How often do you visit Golden Gate Park?
-By what means of transportation do you access the park?
-From which part of San Francisco are you from?
-What entrances do you typically take into the park?
We will then focus in on the Lincoln Way entrances, asking respondents about their familiarity with and opinions about our study corridor. We believe this will give us a solid information base upon which to base our analysis of parkgoers’ transit patterns. That being said, we are keeping a few caveats in mind during these interviews. We are visitng the park during peak hours of a holiday weekend and therefore there may be a higher level of irregular visitors and car visits than usual. This may skew our data a bit to not be representative of typical parkgoers, however, we believe that increasing our sample size by surveying the largest number of parkgoers possible will help mitigate these concerns.
We will be making our third trip to the city this Friday, February 21, and will be spending the day with Janice. The afternoon will be devoted to in-person interviews with members of the SF Bike Coalition who have volunteered to participate in our research. While this obviously represents a self-selecting, active body of the Bike Coalition who may be more eager about biking and alternative transit than other members, we are excitied for this great opportunity for face-to-face communication. Additionally, we hope to organize a workshop with a middle school in the Sunset District to gather information from a relatively untapped constituent base, that of the youth in the Sunset District. Assuming that youth frequently use the park, we believe they will provide valuable insight that can shape our recommended designs. This suite of trips represent the core of our community outreach and will be crucial in shaping the outcome of our project. As such, we are preparing extensively for each interview by completing background reading on the organization and compiling individualized questions. To round out our community outreach, we are still collecting our online survey responses and are waiting to hear back from correspondants such as Ben Grant of SPUR and Nicole Schneider of Walk SF, and will meet with Youth Commissioner Perksy next Saturday, February 22 at the Transit Summit.
In sticking with our timeline, we will gather, code, and analyze our data during Weeks 7 and 8. Once this is complete, we plan to have our first draft of design recommendations available by the end of Week 8 so they can be reviewed by Janice and Nicole Schneider as per her generous recommendation. Our final design recommendations will be complete by the end of Week 9, at which point we will also have made a map of the Lincoln Way corridor to present to Supervisor Tang’s office. This will put us in good standing to prepare our final presentation and final report for the last week of the quarter. We are excited to tackle the heart of our project in the upcoming weeks and look forward to pulling the many parts of our work thus far together into a coherent and hopefully inspiring final report.