This week proved extremely useful for our group in planning and organization for our project. In the coming week we will be quite busy working on organizing data from our surveys and workshop at Lawton Middle School, which proved to be extremely valuable. Using the discussion from class on Wednesday we were able to structure group dynamics even more so. Laetitia created a Calendar and time sheet for the group in which we laid out each of our schedules for the upcoming week and coordinated times in which we can all meet in person and discuss the project as a whole.
Throughout the project we have been using group-text to stay in communication when meeting in person is not an option. This has been a great tool for all of us in staying on track for the project and coordination when meeting up in San Francisco. This week we will primarily focus on putting data from surveys in written form and responding to/inviting our contacts to the final presentation. A rough outline of a street map will also be in the works for this week as well as continued modification to our design ideas from recommendations and information provided to us by Nicole from Walk SF. Nicole actually provided a pamphlet for us that contains statistical numbers of pedestrian-car accidents, city goals, and increased pedestrian travel numbers, all of which will be incorporated into our final presentation.
As a group we discussed the importance of each section of our presentation and determined that we should spend a major chunk discussing street design and the ideas we have on improvement. We will also spend a portion of the presentation discussing what was learned while completing this project, both about sustainability and working with community members and planners to complete such an important project.
Janice continues to provide us with valuable contacts and information which we are very grateful for. Recently linking us to a Erica Simmons’ (an Intern from the Bicycle Coalition) blog of West Golden Gate Park and her findings/research on bicycle and pedestrian safety in that area. In addition to this, Janice also condensed and modified our Survey which she plans on putting in the weekly newsletter for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, along with an invite to the final presentation.
We continue to take major steps in completing our project and are very excited to see all of our work finalized. So much has been learned throughout this quarter already and we are anticipating amazing final presentations from all four groups.
This week was very much a planning and working week. We covered a lot of administrative business which, although tedious in the moment, is fundamental to thorough project deliverables. As described above, our work this week consisted primarily of sifting through all our outreach responses and codifying this data. We are organizing the data by similarity of responses, usefulness of the information, and general relevancy of the responses. We are finding this to be a challenging step because we have gathered so much information at this point. Our outreach has been extensive--interceptor interviews in Golden Gate Park, in-person interviews at the SF Bike Coalition headquarters, a design workshop at Lawton Middle School, an online survey to about five neighborhood groups in the Sunset District, and another online survey to the SF Bike Coalition. We are being very vigilant and discerning about which information is actually helpful and/or which we would like to use in our final presentation. With the time and interest constraints of our short presentation, we have to continually engage the audience while still reporting back our most significant findings. Finding this balance will take trial and error in the preparation stage, and by clearly compartmentalizing our data we hope to make the compilation of our presentation easier. Furthermore, we need to undergo this stage anyway to organize the wealth of data we have gathered.
In general, the response rate to our online surveys has been disappointing. We have only received 9 responses to the survey we sent out via SurveyMonkey to the five organizations in the Sunset District. This speaks to the power of in-person interviews, especially in the information age when people’s inboxes are overwhelmed with various asks. Ideally, we would have hosted another workshop or neighborhood forum if we were not restricted by the timing of a 10-week quarter. That being said, we are very pleased with the results of our in-person interviews and the workshop at Lawton Middle School. Those opportunities to engage face-to-face were invaluable to receiving candid input to our project from the locals who know the area the best.
As outlined below, we have devised a timeline for the remaining two weeks of our project, including an initial outline sketch for our final presentation. After completing these planning measures, we feel a bit more secure in the direction of this final project push. Laying out the work that must be completed and assigning each group members necessary tasks to complete is the first step to systematically tackling our to-do list. Although we believe we have been relatively well organized throughout the quarter, coming up with a weekly to-do list may have been a more effective strategy from the start.
Speaking of strategizing, we really appreciated the teamwork reflection activity we completed in class this week. It was a good opportunity to reflect on our group cohesion and make some slight changes which will help us in these final weeks. General areas of improvement for the group include being realistic about our project scope, planning ahead so we can alleviate scheduling conflicts, and being more vocal about our group work and concerns. We agreed that we could be more responsive to our community partners, which may be facilitated by assigning a group spokesperson. In order to assist with these improvements, we made a When2Meet online calendar for the next two weeks with all our available times listed, and decided that even quick in-person meetings are more effective than email chains and Google Docs. It is never too late to make improvements, so we implemented these right away. We are grateful for the opportunity to come together as a group and positively reflect on our experiences.
We will be spending the first half of the next week gathering, coding, and analyzing the results from all of our surveys and interviews completed throughout the second half of the quarter. This will include a short survey sent to the parents of the 8th grade Lawton Middle School students, as well as a short interactive online exercise for Mr. Streepy’s second class, which we did not have the opportunity to lead our design workshop with. The survey and interview results we expect to gather are from the following groups/categories:
We will also follow up with correspondents from throughout the quarter, such as Alex Cain in the Sunset District and Ben Grant of SPUR, giving updates and asking for any last bits of feedback they may want to share with us. We will additionally extend an invitation to our final presentation to all of our community contacts from throughout the quarter.
Much of the next week will be spent devising initial design implementations for the Lincoln Way intersections and the Panhandle cyclist crossing into Golden Gate Park, informed by the survey and interview results from the past several weeks. By Monday class, we will have individually grouped our primary intersections of focus according to their similarities in constraints and design shortcomings. We will gather to compare conclusions and reach a group consensus on three (or four maximum) groups. Eric will spend the weekend organizing the Lawton Middle School students’ design ideas that they mapped out on the handouts and discussed during the workshop. The entire group will peruse the design resources provided by Nicole of Walk SF.
The three of us have filled a When2Meet and scheduled times outside of class when we’ll meet in person to complete tasks that we won’t be able to do individually. This was a particularly timely effort for the Wednesday reflection activity, as we had agreed that a big obstacle to overcome would be figuring out times that we would set apart exclusively for the project: