Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nisha's Footprint at 3rd and Q

Community Consensus Plan - Complete Version

The 100% resident-led, all-volunteer Quesada Gardens Initiative, its members, allies and organizational partners have joined with the family of Antwanisha Morgan. Antwanisha was killed by street violence on March 16th 2007 on the intersection of Third Street and Quesada Avenue.

On May 5th, 2007 a gathering of family and residents began to develop a community-consensus plan for increasing safety and quality of life on the intersection of Third and Quesada (3rd & Q). The gathering was emotional in the wake of loss, and hopeful given our commitment that Antwanisha be remembered by our community for a legacy of positive change.

Community Brainstorm Participants

Mike Aisenfeld
Latasha Allston
Jim Ansbro
Jeffrey Betcher
Alicia Butler
Georgette Everette
Nan Foster
Chris Foster
Colleen Flynn
Suzanne Gavin
Reeve Joliffe
Marlene Lucky-Curry
Juanita Miles
Chante Patterson
Michelle Rankin
Carol Robinson
James Ross
Rochelle Santiago
Ahsha Safai
Tony Tarket

Draft Plan Highlights

Bayview Community Festival
Community Vegetable Garden
Youth Involvement
Public Art and Banners
Heighten Security and Lighting
New Median and Landscaping

Start Here

The community began this process with the question: What can we do together, for ourselves, now, on this one intersection of 3rd & Q, to enhance safety and livability? While some of our consensus objectives require support from the City or other organizations, we focused on things we could do independently. Advocacy issues with the city, police, etc. will be noted when they arise as those issues are important; however, we intend to keep our focus on positive, highly-localized, community-driven change.

Emerging Blueprint for 3rd & Q – The Nisha’s Footprint at 3rd and Q plan emphasizes community-building, youth development, and public art strategies, and recommends physical enhancements to visually define the intersection and make it more secure.

Community-Building and Bayview Youth at 3rd and Q

The community needs to create more opportunities and places for young people and other residents to come together. A “Get to Know Your Neighbor” festival including a youth-led dance event and BBQ could become a regular event. The intersection of 3rd & Q includes the gateway to the 1700 block of Quesada where the main Quesada Garden and public gathering space is. Residents there would support an event, and much of the public space can be easily blocked off. Youth should be centrally involved in the event, and engaged by it.

More security is necessary when young people are predictably on Third Street – just after school and at about 8pm. Security or law enforcement should calm young people as they exit buses after school, and should protect them as they leave community centers.

[Note: Police need more/better sensitivity training so that their interactions with the young people are more successful. Generally, just a parked police cruiser may be adequate to calm activity.]

A pocket park, mini-garden and/or vegetable stand should be installed near the intersection that provides a destination for residents thereby attracting a more visible community presence. The lot next to Bank of America is unused and a nuisance. The Bayview Hunters Point Foundation and Hunters Point Family/Girls 2000, both with offices near the intersection, have expressed willingness to use a new asset like this as an opportunity to engage the youth populations they work with. The installation would be a visible symbol of our collaborative community-based initiative.

The one-time custom of putting up lights and other holiday decorations in December/January should be revived.

Public Art at 3rd and Q

Community designed public art would be welcome at this intersection. The side of the corner store could accommodate a mural. Paintings in and around the intersection - on the pavement and sidewalks as allowed by code - could calm traffic and create an involvement opportunity for neighborhood youth.

Banners communicating the Nisha’s Footprint at 3rd and Q campaign could define the intersection visually and make a strong statement about community presence and the expectation of safety. Signage in residential and business windows would indicate support for the campaign and could identify “safe houses” should someone need help.

Signage should be added to the entrance of the Quesada Garden to make it clear that the project is community-driven. Currently, traffic direction is confusing. A large rose plant was recently planted at the Third Street tip of the community garden by the family of Antwanisha Morgan and QGI members. This plant could be included in the design of the signage as a piece of public art. There could also be an opportunity to honor the man who planted the landmark palm trees on the median strip, something some QGI members have asked for.

Other Physical Enhancements to 3rd & Q

Security cameras at the intersection do not work adequately. The community should advocate for more and better cameras.

Street lighting is dim. Even if it currently meets City standards, we still consider the amount of light sub-standard relative to the heightened risk for violence on this intersection.

Traffic lights and crosswalks at 3rd and Q need to be improved. Waiting for a walk sign takes a very long time, and the noise the timers make sounds like machine-gun fire. Pedestrians cross against the lights because it takes too long to get a walk sign. Crosswalks could be enhanced by adding a new material like cobblestone or pavers.

Bulb-outs and speed bumps are necessary to slow traffic on Quesada (both sides of Third), especially now that it is a growing center of community activity.
Street furniture (e.g., benches) is needed.

A new median strip on the 1600 block of Quesada just east of Third should be added to mirror the median strip now on the 1700 block of Quesada just west of Third. Planting and landscaping on this new median should be visually tied to landscaping in the current garden and permeable landscapes associated with T-Third light rail to create a visual definition to the intersection.

Looking Forward

Community Review – Nisha’s 3rd & Q plan is now in draft form. We intend to publicize it, do outreach to residents and businesses near the intersection of Third and Quesada, and solicit more ideas and solid support.

Timeline – Nisha’s Footprint at 3rd and Q plan is urgent. We intend to move quickly to implement it, and we hope it has value as a model for other intersections in the Bayview and for other communities experiencing similar challenges.


Antwanisha’s family and all the resident-members of the Quesada Gardens Initiative want to thank the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice for funding this important planning phase. We are grateful to all who inform and support the Nisha’s Footprint at 3rd and Q plan, and to Bayview Hunters Point residents who reach out to their neighbors daily and create community-driven change. History is happening.

Antwanisha Morgan was an innocent victim. Her death reminds us that the impact of such a loss reaches far beyond the victim…to family…to friends….to the entire community. Everyone who lives in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood is living a life diminished, and each of us has an urgent responsibility to do all we can to create positive change.

Nisha’s footprint will forever be at 3rd & Q, and in the hearts and memories of those who loved her.

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