Noe Valley Voice April 2013

Letters to the Editor

Crosswalks: A Cautionary Tale

It is only now, three months removed from my “crosswalk accident,” that I am able to put the incident in perspective.

My ordeal began on Dec. 14, as I happily strolled with my black and white Havanese, Lucy, to the park at Douglass and 24th streets. As I reached the middle of the crosswalk heading to the playground area, I stared to the ground, only to see the tires of a moving car a foot away from my dog, dutifully on her leash by my side. In an instinctual move, I furiously pulled us both back to avoid being hit. In doing so, I fell to the ground, landing largely on my wrist to break the fall.

Bystanders came to my aid, picking me up and asking if I was okay. The woman driving the car jumped out and concernedly asked the same thing, apologizing and telling me she had not seen me in the crosswalk. I felt okay, thinking perhaps my wrist was slightly sprained.

I was not okay. My wrist had been broken in several places. I am now at the tail end of a three-month ordeal of medical appointments, casts, pain, inconveniences, medical bills, and a newfound fear of crossing the street. Stop signs, crosswalks, and red lights no longer give me a false sense of safety as I cross the streets in Noe Valley or anywhere else. My strolls with my beloved Lucy are no longer relaxed and carefree.

I now make eye contact with drivers before stepping off the curb, taking nothing for granted. Danger truly lurks on every corner. Perhaps it was my naiveté that precluded me from viewing it as such in the past. I have lost my innocence! As a driver, I am more conscious than I was, to stop before the crosswalk line and to be especially cognizant of pedestrians walking anywhere close to the curb. To the extent that I have become more diligent, I am grateful.

I now reflect on the blessings of being “nearly” back to normal. With physical therapy and the passage of time, I have regained my ability to use my dominant hand: to dress, exercise, and eat with only minor impairment. I strive to lessen my fear of walking, as I love strolling Noe Valley and do not intend to let fear stop me. Overall, I am grateful that the injury was not worse.

When people often stared at my humongous cast with incredulity and asked, “What happened to you?” I simply stated, “The dog lived.” Now I realize that the full answer should have been, “I am now a more aware walker and driver, especially when it comes to crosswalks.” I hope that after hearing my tale you will be too.

Bonnie Gradstein

Diamond Street


Pedestrian Right-of-Way


I have been a resident of Noe Valley for eight years. I feel lucky to be able to afford to live in this wonderful area of San Francisco. I enjoy walking on 24th Street, but it is becoming harder and harder to enjoy the stroll. I am often walking alone on 24th Street to run my errands, go to Starbucks, or grab a bite to eat. I feel like I need to walk in the street in order to avoid being hit by people walking side-by-side, pushing baby strollers, or walking their dogs, oblivious to those of us who are also trying to share the sidewalk. Many times I am hit and find myself dodging out of the way.

I’m sure many of us would appreciate it if the sidewalk could be shared equally and the strollers, dog walkers, and people-walking side-by-side would not take up the entire sidewalk and would pay just a bit more attention to what they were doing and the effects on others. Thank you.

Preston Sullivan

25th Street


Beyond Kindness


The profile of Sheila Ash, “The Panache of Sheila Ash,” by Corrie M. Anders in the March 2012 Voice, was an outstanding piece. It captures Sheila Ash perfectly. Sheila is a joy to know and be with. And she always has something unique for her friends to do.

She is also beyond kindness.

Denise D’Anne

Guerrero Street


Blue Bin Bandits Identified


On Tuesday, March 19, at around 1 p.m., this car (see right) was idling while his partner went to each blue bin on the street, taking out glass or whatnot. When I looked closely, I could read the license plate: 6RHE959.

Is there a place to send this or report it to Recology? Should neighbors unite and start posting such photos?

Sherry Coveney

Elizabeth Street

Editors’ Note: Googling the blue bin theft question turned up this answer from Recology, San Francisco’s recycling program: “City and State law prohibit the theft of recyclables. If you see a ‘thief’ taking your recyclables, obtain the vehicle license number, car description, time of the theft, description of the person, direction they were heading, and report the theft to the non-emergency police dispatch office at 553-0123. Also, call Sunset Scavenger at 415-330-1300 or Recology Golden Gate at 415-626-4000 during business hours to report the theft of recyclables. We will request that the police patrol areas with repeated problems. You can also report the theft by filling out an online Recycle Theft Form. For your safety, do NOT confront the recycling thieves.”


Empty Gold Mine


I’m curious about the building at 1220–22 Church St., adjacent to the Happy Donuts outlet on the corner of Church and 24th streets and opposite the J-Church Muni island. For as long as I can remember, this two-flat building has been vacant, even in the midst of successive housing booms in San Francisco. Do you—or a reader—know what keeps this building uninhabited and hence nonproductive? I truly hope the answer isn’t real estate speculation.

John Mehring

Dolores Street

Sorry, we can’t help you. Anyone else?



P.O. Box 460249

San Francisco, CA 94146

The Noe Valley Voice is an independent news­paper published monthly except in January and August. It is distributed free in Noe Valley and vicinity, on or before the first Friday of the month. Subscriptions are available at $30 per year ($25 for seniors) by writing to the above address.

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Sally Smith, Jack Tipple


Olivia Boler, Other Voices Editor

Corrie M. Anders, Associate Editor

Heather World, Associate Editor

Heidi Anderson, Owen Baker-Flynn, Karol Barske, Helen Colgan, Jan Goben, Kate Haug, Liz Highleyman, Rebecca Huval, Laura McHale Holland, Florence Holub, Tim Innes, Jeff Kaliss, Doug Konecky, Rhiana Maidenberg, George Nelson, Roger Rubin, Shayna Rubin, Karen Topakian


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Beverly Tharp, Senior Photographer

Najib Joe Hakim, Senior Photographer


Jennifer O. Viereck


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