Dahlia-Inspired Mural Painted on Havelock Street Bridge

The west entrance of the bridge that crosses Interstate 280 just got beautified.

The Havelock Street pedestrian bridge received some improvements. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

One of the neighborhood’s pedestrian bridges just got some much-needed attention.

An eye-catching mural was painted on the Havelock Street pedestrian bridge’s west entrance. The beautification is one part of a larger and ongoing project to enhance the bridge funded in 2019 by District 7 Participatory Budgeting.

Christine Martinez Weibel, a local designer and longtime Sunnyside resident, has been advocating that improvements be made to the bridge since 2019. She also designed the mural.

“It's a piece of infrastructure that has divided our neighborhoods from Ingleside and Sunnyside from the Mission and it's a valuable piece of infrastructure,” Weibel said. “There's definitely more that can be done even on that one bridge.”

The Havelock Street pedestrian bridge's west entrance. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

This bridge crosses Interstate 280, connecting Balboa Park to City College of San Francisco. It's owned by Caltrans, and Weibel’s design complies with the state agency’s requirements for imagery on its properties.

Weibel was inspired by dahlias, San Francisco’s official flower. The design uses mostly warm-toned colors and heart-shaped petals to make passersby feel safe, she said.

“Obviously something colorful is positive and uplifting ... [but there is also] a traffic safety aspect,” Weibel said. “I wanted it to really make the area appear active so when people are approaching from Circular Avenue, they see there's something down there.”

Other improvements include clearing the overgrown ivy that once overtook the majority of the chain link fencing and also reinforcing its structure. A crosswalk and sign were also installed adjacent to the bridge last year to improve pedestrian safety.

The Ocean Avenue Association served as the project sponsor, receiving a $25,000 grant from the Department of Public Works and Supervisor Myrna Melgar. The nonprofit organization partnered with Neil Ballard, a neighborhood illustrator, to get the job done.

Pedestrian bridge
Christine Martinez Weibel designed the mural on the Havelock pedestrian bridge. Neil Ballard painted it. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Ballard, who has painted other murals in the neighborhood such as “The Natural World” on Faxon Garage, said he was thrilled to help create another piece of art for the neighborhood.

Others shared Ballard's joy for the wider community.

“With the shrubs cleaned up and a new mural, this area is no longer in a state of neglect and disrepair,” Melgar said. “Now, our neighborhood’s families, CCSF students and other residents can enjoy a safe and beautiful passage across 280.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the mural will be held at 12 p.m. on July 14, 2023, at the pedestrian bridge’s west entrance.

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