(NDNC hearing from SDOT consultant Josh Stepherson; photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Major discussion points included a look ahead to tonight’s first Delridge Community Forum, about the DESC homeless-housing proposal, was a major item, as were the potential North Delridge traffic effects of the Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit Project bridge/road work.
THE FORUM: DCF is a spinoff from NDNC, putting together a series of mediated community forums with the help of a city grant. Patrick Baer briefed the meeting on plans for tonight’s discussion (6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center), the first real chance for a big-group discussion about the 75-apartment projects that first came to light last June, including a meeting from which people had to be turned away. He has drawn a big-name guest list.
*Child care has been secured for the meeting. The room at Youngstown (4408 Delridge Way SW) has room for 300 (and there’s a room next door as backup for overflow); volunteers delivered 1,300 flyers around the area, in Spanish/English/Vietnamese, to get the word out. The format will be “world café,” including small-group discussions that report back to the full gathering. After conversations, there will be an opportunity for anyone interested in further action to convene and talk about it, but that will not be led by those who are leading the meeting. (More info at delridgeforum.blogspot.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/delridgeforum.) The next forum is already being planned; anyone interested in helping is invited to a get-together at 6:15 pm October 24 at Delridge Library.
Ahead, the city consultant who’s been briefing community groups on the bridge-retrofit project, and other traffic/transportation issues, plus prospective Delridge Community Center cuts, and an announcement with NDNC elections ahead:
FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY PROJECT: Consultant Josh Stepherson has been to several other local community councils over the past month to talk about the Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit Project. Work is already under way, beneath the west end of the high bridge, as crews work to retrofit columns. But the major concern remains what will happen next month, when workers have to start lifting sections of the bridge deck to install “bearing pads.” As previously reported, that work will involve some night/weekend closures of not only that section of the bridge, but also the ramps that feed into it. The plan is for the Delridge onramp to always be open, and that’s of some concern to North Delridge, in case people cut down narrow side streets or find unofficial routes. NDNC plans to send letters asking for two measures they believe can help – expedited installation of a traffic light at Genesee/Avalon, and added left-turn signals at Delridge/Orchard by Home Depot. (The latter request is in response to the possibility that truck traffic might be diverted down Morgan/Orchard during ramp closures.) The phase of the project involving ramp/bridge closures is not expected to start before mid-November, according to our latest check with SDOT.
DELRIDGE GREENWAYS: Might 26th SW be perfect for a “greenway,” a concept the city is exploring, as have other cities before them? A Delridge discussion recently launched, and City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is coming over this Saturday to join in. She and interested residents will meet at 10 am at Delridge Community Center, followed by a bike ride. (There’s a Facebook event page for this – find it here.)
SPEAKING OF DELRIDGE COMMUNITY CENTER: It would become a second-tier center if the mayor’s budget proposals go through (as first announced a month ago), and it would be open fewer hours. NDNC’s Holli Margell said she had written a letter to the mayor pointing out the flawed data used to evaluate Delridge CC use – considering usage was surveyed before major improvements including the newly opened Delridge Skatepark. She plans to speak at the October 26th budget public hearing at City Hall and invited everyone interested to join her (details here).
ELECTIONS: Chair Karrie Kohlhaas announced she won’t run for re-election. She said it’s been an amazing learning experience, though, and one that others should try – she’s learned a lot about not only how people work together, but how the city works, and how the two can be brought together. Leadership elections are next month.
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