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Readers respond to The Standard’s reporting on the Taraval St. construction nightmare

An urban street corner showing roadwork barriers with "ROAD CLOSED" signs, under a street sign for "TARAVAL" and "22ND AVE."
Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

In response to our recent story, Nightmare on Taraval Street: A neighborhood crushed by a five-year construction ordeal, The San Francisco Standard is publishing a selection of readers’ comments with their permission. The responses have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. 

Good intentions, bad results

The city powers publicly profess that neighborhood retail is of paramount importance to the fabric of our neighborhoods. However, with these grand projects the [San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency] undertakes, they totally undercut that thinking. Look what SFMTA did to Van Ness and the businesses there. They tried to do it on Geary Boulevard and have fouled things up a bit there also. They also block off access to pedestrians trying to cross the streets they are working on. God forbid you try and get a permit to do that.  

All this is done in the name of pedestrian safety while people are driving, riding and walking around with their heads stuck in their phones. Not to mention the speeding, unlicensed motorcycle flash mobs, etc. It's all well-intentioned, but as the saying goes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

—Kevin Brunner

City needs a look in the mirror

I find it curious that our city attorney is so willing to take credit for “standing up to the corporations” and holding them accountable but won’t deal forthrightly with those city departments that damage residents and businesses.

—David Hooper

Our allegiances, sadly, have moved

Thank you for this intense article. As nearby residents—18th and Ortega—we used to rely on various stores and restaurants along Taraval. Now it's only Especially Cats, which has looked after our numerous cats over 40-some years. As I reflect on your article, we have virtually abandoned the street's shops. 

I have lost my visual memory of Outer Taraval. All is blank after the Walgreens area. This moves me to think about another visit to a victim business along Taraval.

Thanks again for watching the things that go wrong in SF.

Norm Ishimoto

Is income a factor?

Taraval Street has long been neglected and ignored because it is not upscale. 

—Ilene Oba

Parking woes hurt pets—and people too

My pets have been patients of Avenues Pet Hospital located at 2221 Taraval, and it's a nightmare, indeed, to bring them there for an emergency or checkup. I've been bringing my pets to Avenues Pet Hospital since I was a teenager in the 1970s, and this is beyond inconvenient.

Although you mention other businesses and medical services affected, in 2023, the U.S. surgeon general released an advisory that stated loneliness poses health risks that can be as deadly as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. I would contend that having a pet alleviates this for people and to remove parking right in front of Avenues Pet Hospital, a hospital nonetheless, did a grave disservice to Avenues' patients.

Cynthia Marcopulos

Are public works projects too big?

I share the pain of residents who have become deeply frustrated by San Francisco transit construction projects. They are often watered down in scope and then very slow to be delivered.

I wonder how much of the blame for the delays and disruption lies in the San Francisco policy of grouping public works projects together (like why the Van Ness transit project also replaced sewer and utility lines). Does this well-intentioned law actually achieve its goals of saving resources and time? Or is it part of the problem?

—Shanan Delp

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