Lily Living Alley

Friends of the Urban Forest has been working with a group of residents on the 200, 300 and 400 block of Lily Street in Hayes Valley to create plans for Living Alley Improvements. After months of  community-led design meetings we’ve developed a draft plan that will be the basis for grant proposals to subsidize the cost of the improvements. Please use the survey at bottom to tell us what you think of our plans.

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Lily Living Alley Improvements 2016

Lily Living Alley Design Elements

Phase One – to be included in the FUF Community Challenge Grant, due Sept 2016:

A. Greening
1.Greening at dead-end on the 400 block
2. Sidewalk Landscaping (on cross-streets only)
3. New or Replacement Trees
B. Murals – including walls and garage doors (with property owner approval only)
C. Street Painting – colorful stencil painting on Lily Street and at intersections

Phase Two – traffic calming measures to be included in future grant proposals:

D. Raised Crosswalk
E. Bulb-out or Chicane (widened sidewalk)

400 block of Lily Street

Lily Living Alley Improvements -- 400 block

300 block of Lily Street

Lily Living Alley Improvements -- 300 block

200 block of Lily Street

Lily Living Alley Improvements -- 200 block

Lily Living Alley History

The Lily Alley Living (LAL) project is a partnership between Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and a group of residents in Hayes Valley, in the heart of San Francisco. Together we are working to generate neighborhood support and participation towards the creation of a living alley on Lily Street. The LAL project is spearheaded by 13 block captains who live on the 200, 300, and 400 blocks of Lily and over 30 people from those blocks who have attended meetings, workshops, and walking tours.

April 2016 Community Meeting

Participants at the first Lily Living Alley community meeting, April 2016

The partnership began in early 2016 when a few long-­term Lily Street residents – Robin, Donna, Brian S and Brian T – were inspired to participate in the city’s Living Alley program but were stymied by logistical hurdles. They reached out to FUF for help and together established the LAL project. This core group of founders began to meet with FUF to establish the community-led design process. They started by holding a community meeting to introduce Lily Street Living Alley to the neighborhood and advertised the meeting with posters along the street and left flyers at each property. This inaugural community meeting was a major success with 40 residents present.

Attendees were encouraged to sign in and note if they were interested in taking leading roles as block captains. The block captains play a crucial role in both bubbling up feedback from neighbors, as well as disseminating updates about the project. News is also shared via a LAL Facebook page and email newsletter. The Facebook group currently has 31 members and the mailing list has 48 subscribers. We now have 3-4 block captains per block who meet at least bi-monthly and take turns volunteering their homes. In between meetings the block captains communicate via a Google Group.

Block Captains working on living alley design elements, June 2016

Block Captains working on living alley design elements, June 2016

Since April we’ve hosted events including a living alley walking tour in Hayes Valley, community design-charrettes and a block party – all with the goal of inspiring community involvement in the design process and feedback on design elements. In August 2016 FUF and a few block captains met with staff of the Living Alley Program at the SF Planning Department and gained preliminary approval for the living alley improvement plan designed by the community. This plan, shown above, will be the basis of a Community Challenge Grant, due September 2016.

Lily Street Block Party, July 2016

Lily Street Block Party, July 2016

The LAL project will address neighborhood beautification with artistic painting on the streets, wall murals on each block, and greening. Eventually phase 2 will include traffic calming with raised crosswalks, bulb-outs, and chicanes – all elements that will require additional funding and a longer process as we work with SF Municipal Transit Authority, Public Works, the Fire Department, and the Planning Department to approve all the proposed design elements.

We are still at the very beginning stages. Once we’ve secured funding we will continue to have community meetings as we develop plans for murals, street painting and greening. We hope you’ll be involved!

We want to hear from you!

The Lily Living Alley design process has been lead by neighbors and community members. We are still in the early phases of designs so we want to know how you feel about the design.

Residents are collaborating to create living alley improvement plans for the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of Lily Street. We are still in the beginning stages of our design process so we want to know how you feel about the draft plans as we seek funding and refine our designs.

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