Monday, April 21, 2014

Dangling Castro Rainbow Banner Blight Worsens: Removal When?

The Castro district was full of happy, peppy people and much beauty on 4/20 and Easter Sunday with all that beautiful sunshine beaming down on everyone and everything yesterday. Unfortunately, the blight of faded and soiled rainbow banners on City utility poles hung over the streets, and at Market and 14th Street the terrible condition of one banner showed serious deterioration.

This photo was snapped at the end of March and was sent along to Mohammed Nuru, head of the Department of Public Works, with other photos of similar dirty and tattered rainbow banners and a complaint requesting immediate removal of the blight. On April 7, I blogged about and shared emails between DPW and the administrator of the Merchants of Upper Market Castro, Richard Magary.

The City and the private merchants group were trying to determine which flags were the responsibility of DPW or MUMC, and the fate of each banner.

I took this photo yesterday afternoon and as you can see the rainbow banner is now split, torn and blowing in the breeze like a windsock. Since this location is several blocks distance from all the tearing up of Castro Street's roadway pavement and sidewalk cement, there is no reason to delay it's removal until after that urban redesign work is finished in the summer.

This note was sent to DPW from Magary of MUMC earlier this month:

Upon current inspection, this Banner, in our opinion, is in poor repair and should be removed promptly, along with its outdated hardware. It is torn and overly soiled. This Banner is NOT part of CASTRO MERCHANTS' SFDPW-BSM Permit and is not our responsibility. It was not installed by us, nor has it ever been maintained by us. [...] Removal of the Banner shown in [Petrelis' photo] is NOT our responsibility.

On April 16th, in response to my request for an update, DPW's Mindy Linetzky shared this info:

The Department of Public Works Bureau of Street Use and Mapping has contacted permit holder Richard Magary regarding the banners.  He is coordinating removal of most of the banners with the Castro Streetscape Improvement project and they have asked him to remove them as soon as possible.

It is our understanding that when the Castro Streetscape Improvement project is complete, all the banners will be replaced. Mr. Magary is also removing the banner [at Market and 14th Street] right away.

Since MUMC is saying one thing and DPW another, I've written to DPW for both clarification and renewed by request for removal of the banner in question. I'll update when the City responds.

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