For a year and a half, a group of neighbors who live near the Coleridge Mini-Park have been in contact with city officials and representatives from Supervisor Campos’s office to upgrade the street lighting in the area and make it safer at night. So far, however there has been a lot of talk, but little action. Neighbor Valerie summarizes what’s happened — and not happened — so far:
We wanted to tell you about the efforts that have been made by neighbors here to get better lighting in the Coleridge Mini Park. Our effort has involved multiple calls to 311, SFPD, and Carolyn at Supervisor Campos’ office to follow up.
The initial meeting with representatives from Supervisor Campos’s office was October(ish) of 2014. By early February 2015, they essentially gave us the classic City response of “we hear you, but we can’t do anything about it.” We were basically told that they couldn’t help us because there were too many obstacles and bureaucratic hurdles to overcome, but we could either purchase solar lights or find someone to donate them and only at that point, would they try to help — and by help, they meant figure out IF said lights could actually be installed. All of the work and effort to increase the lighting was kicked to us with no confirmation that it would actually lead to a change. The only thing they keep offering us is to cut back the trees in the park, which we’ve told them multiple times are NOT the problem.
Unfortunately, the only time we’ve heard any follow up to this is after the assault occurred on the Esmeralda Stairway last January. Since that time, Carolyn [Goossen, a legislative aide in Sup. Campos’s office] has reached out again, with a promise that “this was a good season to request grant money.”
However, if Campos and his office have a plan to secure said funds, we haven’t heard about it. The lights on the stairway were replaced with LED bulbs which are *slightly* better, but that doesn’t change the issue IN the park. We are constantly calling SFPD to come out and patrol and/or deal with the drug dealers, meth users, parties, etc. There was another arrest in front of the park on March 14.
We, and our neighbors, have done everything we can do to help improve the safety in this area, including adding additional lights to private homes and installing cameras which did help to catch the guy who assaulted our neighbor at knife-point.
Enough is enough though. I don’t think it’s our responsibility to seek out private funding to pay for lighting in a City maintained park. We, and most of our neighbors, are very frustrated by the lack of response from our Supervisor’s office and as I’ve said previously, it’s insulting that I’m good enough to ask for a vote during election season but he can’t move the needle on a persistent public safety issue.
PHOTO: Police arresting a suspect near the Coleridge Mini-Park on March 14, 2016. Photo by Neighbor Valerie