Allen lived on 4th Ave for more 35 years. He raised his family there. Allen’s son attended school at Bel Air, Parkside and Capuchino. His son would ride his big wheel on the sidewalks. Later he rode his bike and skateboard in the street. His son now has a family of his own. Today his son can’t walk his kids to school without weaving through taco trucks and limos. When the family first moved to the Avenues more than three decades ago the neighborhood was clean and everyone respected each other’s way of life. The years have changed this neighborhood. Once well kept homes and yards are now in disrepair. The sidewalks are broken and cracked under the weight of commercial vehicles. Life in this neighborhood where children could play safely in their yards has all but disappeared.
This neighborhood is one of the oldest in San Bruno. This neighborhood is rich in San Bruno heritage and history. Our city should protect this history.
Allen has since passed, but his son remembers how he would get angry at the neighbors that blocked the sidewalks. He was forced to park a block away from his home because of all the commercial vehicles dominating his street.
Now that his son has grown and has a family of his own, he is focused on improving things for his children. He is saddened by the disrespectful way some treat his neighborhood. Fourth Ave has become a shortcut from San Bruno Avenue to Downtown. Limos and Uber cars drive these streets tossing garbage from their windows.
For this proud family, a once safe and respectable neighborhood has become forgotten. The family has been asking our city’s officials for help for years, but feels no one is listening. They pay their taxes like any other San Brunoans. All they want is to see the repair of their sidewalks and curbs, for the city building codes to be upheld and the parking laws to be enforced. They have the same reasonable expectations as we all do. They want the city to show some genuine care for the neighborhood they have lived in for decades.
While many have chosen to simply move away, this family wants to stay and be part of this neighborhood’s revival. This is the home of three generations of proud San Bruno residents. Isn’t it worth protecting? This family’s neighborhood is not the only one city officials have turned their back on. This is the story of so many that live in or near our Downtown. With some focused effort this city could begin to turn this trend around. Do they have the collective will to make this happen? Why did they ignore these proud people for so long? Our elected officials and city management have the responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of all San Bruno residents. Many in the neighborhoods east of and near downtown believe our city has officials have turned their backs and all but forgot them.
This November you will make a decision at the voters box. We must look to replace those responsible for the blight and disrepair of many of our neighborhoods with candidates who will respect the voices of every San Bruno resident and take the action required to right the wrongs already done.