Save Patricia’s Green


To: Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Dean Preston

Re: Hayes Valley Octavia Freeway Commemoration Project

We are hereby petitioning an appeal that the City and County of San Francisco support Hayes Valley’s demand for a new and transparent approach for the Octavia Freeway Commemoration Project; we ask that you reject the current design plan recently announced by San Francisco Parks Alliance.


The process to date, which has largely flown under the radar of the neighborhood (no less during a pandemic) has allowed a simple commemoration plan to morph into a grandiose design that wreaks of a boulevard improvement plan. Because the proposed design is bloated in scope and budget, it brings into question its potential impacts on traffic, housing, and socioeconomic factors – none of which have been gauged.

We are petitioning to:

  • Preserve this integral piece of history for future generations in an honorable way
  • Start anew the design process which to date has entailed an alarming level of impropriety, a sham of a voting process, and dismal community outreach
  • Stop the proposed plans for altering Patricia’s Green, the very park that was implemented in honor of Patricia Walkup (the lead organizer and activist for the freeway removal campaign)
  • Ensure a fair and equitable process that includes broad community input from many walks, not limited to the interests of a select few
  • Demand that oversight be handled free of conflicts of interest and corruption
  • Make certain that project funding details be disclosed to the public

Because this project is of great significance to the neighborhood of Hayes Valley we believe that a level of fair community input and participation is critical to achieve a successful and equitable outcome. Let’s not forget, it took three votes to arrive at a consensus for the freeway removal…there’s no reason to rush the process to memorialize this monumental part of our community’s history.

Thank you.

12 thoughts on “Hayes Valley Octavia Freeway Commemoration Project Petition”

  1. Both proposals are TERRIBLE designs and a HUGE waste of money. I have lived in Hayes Valley for two decades. This process has not been transparent. The lack of community involvement in this process is shameful, particularly given that Patricia’s Green was a model community project. It is also shameful given that the city needs more funds for housing and services. Wasting city funds on these proposals and a remodel smells of corruption. Both designs ruin the community spirit of Patricia’s Green. We don’t need more hardscape but better maintenance and more green space. ALL of my neighbors agree. Spend money on improving Patricia Green, do NOT remodel it.

  2. Please don’t put all that cement in Patricia’s Green. We like our little open park. We need it! I’ve lived in the neighborhood more than 20 years. We need someone to empty the garbage cans on busy weekends. Everyone loves the park and the Burning Man art installations. It needs maintenance not more cement.

  3. We desperately need more housing in Hayes Valley. Whatever path forward will allow us to welcome more neighbors of all income levels to Hayes Valley is what we should do. The tradition and beauty of SF is not its parks or buildings, but its people.

  4. The proposed plan is a gimmick.

    Patricia green is a natural space for gatherings. The proposal turns it into a spectacle.

    Why not add more greenery and art to the space? How about more trash cleanups? Please let’s keep things simple and achievable.

  5. I’ve lived just off Octavia Blvd for over 25 years and witnessed the transformation of the neighborhood after the elevated freeway came down. Building more hardscape without dedicated maintenance and gardening personnel is a terrible waste of money. Just look at the plantings in the median strip of Valencia and Divisadero and compare it to the plantings along Octavia. Trees and shrubs are routinely destroyed with no attempt to maintain them. Even just planting a row of trees behind a chain-link fence (at Fell) is a vast improvement over the boarded up plots that are vectors for trash and homeless camps. We don’t need more hardscape but better maintenance and more green space. On a warm day the trash receptacles overflow with the waste of hordes of people not living in the neighborhood. And you want to increase the number of visitors! This sounds like a disaster in the making and an expensive one at that. Not one inch of additional hardscape should be considered until what is currently there can be adequately maintained.

  6. I’ve lived in Hayes Valley for more than two decades (since before the freeway came down). I only just heard about these project proposals, so I agree that, as the petition puts it, “the process to date … has largely flown under the radar of the neighborhood.” And I completely agree that “a level of fair community input and participation is critical to achieve a successful and equitable outcome.” Besides, I’m not sure Patricia’s Green needs a major overhaul. Some improvements and TLC, perhaps? Sure. But it seems so far to have been a pretty successful space. And I like that it’s a little park; it doesn’t need to be a grandiose statement with a contrived community space. People already gather there, quite naturally, in part because of the grass and the informality. I like the playground too, and the original plan of the temporary, revolving artworks (I’m looking forward to their return). In any case, the process needs to be slowed down and the neighborhood needs to be made aware of what’s happening.

  7. SF officials: Please don’t replace our neighborhood green space with an unnecessary, concrete-laden money-pit! This construction-for-the-sake-of-construction is bad for residents, and it is the antithesis of Patrica Walkup’s legacy. There are so many better ways to invest this money (millions of dollars!) into our community. Let’s honor Patricia the right way, and keep the neighborhood green.

  8. I am fully against changing the existing neighborhood framework of Patricia Green in Hayes Valley. To expand the cohesiveness of diversity I’d love to see more skateboard structures built within the existing landscape of Patrica Green. This to would enhance all walks of life’s exercise and artistic contributions to the community. Thank you for your time.

  9. Guys we really appreciate this effort. Can’t believe Gail pulled this off and can walk the neighborhood with a straight face. It’s time the HVNA understands there are other voices in the neighborhood.

    I’m with you on this one: how has a commemoration turned into a boulevard improvement project?
    We’ve got enough issues to solve in Hayes Valley as is, spending astronomical amounts of money to continue to gentrify it shouldn’t be one of them.

  10. HVSafe effort to reset the commemoration process is so needed to address abuse of intent & power. What has come to us is a process that was manipulated by self interest. Consistent in the saga was intent to honor Patricia Walkup hijacked by a select group to foster a major capital improvement project. To say we are to settle on an illegitimate vote by a committee selected by a few residents to me does not represent community outreach. Patricia was all about process & community engagement to achieve the greatest community benefit. So let’s honor her spirit to community by restarting a proper community dialogue on how we honor all the personas who led the HV freeway revolt.

    • Enough with the never ending unnecessary construction projects in our neighborhood! Who benefits from the constant noise and disruption of daily life perpetrated on residents? Enough with the early morning jack hammers and construction equipment not to mention traffic flow inconvenience and parking spaces usurped by construction crews. This neighborhood has been torn up for the last 20 years while the touted improved quality of life and peace of mind has been absent, apparently never to return. Enough already, this is not Hong Kong!


Leave a Comment