Supervisor Eric Mar: Commercial revitalization

Richmond Neighborhood Commercial Corridor Revitalization
I am proud to report that our Richmond Neighborhood Commercial Corridor Revitalization legislation, which will help support our small businesses and fill vacant storefronts, has received unanimous support from the SF Small Business Commission and is now heading to the SF Board of Supervisors for approval.
 One of my priorities this year is to support small businesses, especially those that are locally owned and neighborhood serving, and to encourage economic activity on Geary Boulevard and Clement Street.
 This important legislation recognizes and honors the importance of the diverse complement of Richmond District businesses.  It utilizes the legislative process to update zoning controls that preserve our district's commercial vitality and leads to greater opportunity. It will encourage neighborhood residents to continue to access these neighborhood serving commercial corridors, thereby lessening environmental impacts while strengthening our community serving businesses.
Promoting Energy Efficiency
On July 20, I joined SF Department of the Environment Director Melanie Nutter for a merchant walk along the Geary corridor to urge business owners to reduce their energy costs by participating in the San Francisco Energy Watch program. 
San Francisco Energy Watch was launched in 2007 to help businesses and multi-family building managers or owners in San Francisco lower their energy bills and help the City reduce its impact on the environment. San Francisco Energy Watch has served more than 3,528 local businesses and multi-family property owners, saving millions in energy costs. This is the equivalent of supplying enough power to take care of 15,795 homes for a year.
San Francisco Environment representatives are visiting city neighborhoods to help local businesses cut energy costs. The program offers free on-site energy assessments and helps arrange for licensed "preferred contractors" to complete energy-efficient upgrades at greatly reduced costs. 
All businesses within the city limits that are electric and/or natural gas customers of PG&E are eligible to participate. The program offers a wide range of energy-saving upgrades. Products available to businesses include: lighting, refrigeration, HVAC, food service equipment, and even computers. Save money and energy while reducing your carbon footprint. 
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the SF Energy Watch Hotline at (415) 355-3769 or visit the website at

2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond
This summer I have been working closely with SF Mayor Ed Lee, the SF Department of Public Works and several other members of the Board of Supervisors to place the 2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond on the Nov. 8 ballot. The bond will repave streets and eliminate potholes in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco; seismically strengthen and repair deteriorating bridges, overpasses and stairways; and make other traffic, pedestrian, bicycle and safety improvements. Capital improvements made today will spare the City from spending many times more down the road. 
More than half of San Francisco's 850 miles of streets are deteriorating, with pothole-filled streets and sidewalks buckling throughout the City. This bond will allow us to make long-overdue and urgently needed repairs and will help redesign our streets and sidewalks to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and install sidewalk and curb ramps to meet the City's obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to help people who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, scooters and parents with strollers. It will also upgrade traffic, pedestrian and transit signals and provide other safety features that speed up buses and decrease traffic congestion.
I'm pleased to tell you that this bond measure has been specifically designed to ensure that property tax rates for San Francisco homeowners will not increase. The measures' full cost can be funded at current tax rates and the bond will create more than 1,000 jobs in construction and related industries to boost our economic recovery and put many San Franciscans back to work.

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park, Aug. 12 – Aug. 14
The fourth annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival will be held in Golden Gate Park on Aug. 12 – 14. Again this year, there will be a community hotline to respond to any issues that may affect you during the festival.
This concert event helps benefit our SF Recreation and Park Department and last year helped raise more than $1 million, which went directly back into the department. To help alleviate vehicle congestion in our neighborhood, patrons are being strongly encouraged to take alternative means of transportation to the festival, including Muni, Outside Lands shuttles, biking and walking. 
The festival organizers have dedicated two tow trucks and a parking control officer on each side of the park to respond quickly to any blocked driveways or any other parking issues related to the festival. We also wanted you to be aware that there will be road closures due to the event, so that you can plan accordingly.  On the north side of the park, the following entrances to Golden Gate Park will be closed from Thursday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m., through Sunday, Aug. 14, at 11 p.m.: Transverse Drive at Crossover Drive; JFK Drive at Traverse Drive; the entrances to the park on 30th, 36th, 43rd and 47th avenues; and the Great Highway at JFK Drive. The festival hotline will be available from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. on festival days. The hotline number is (415) 379-9063.

August Coffee Hour
I will be on legislative break during my regularly-scheduled coffee hour this month. The next coffee hour is scheduled in September; location and time to be announced in this column. If you need my attention before then, please feel free to contact my office at (415) 554-7410.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar represents District 1.