Central Waterfront: Walking Tour
Neighborhood Walking Tour
On Thursday, June 8, 2000, approximately 25 citizens joined Planning Department staff and Project Coordinator Jasper Rubin for a two-hour tour of the Central Waterfront and Dogpatch neighborhood. The following notes summarize the many of the points and questions that were raised both by Jasper and tour participants.
Corner of Illinois and Mariposa
There are many sites in this area where there are opportunities for in-fill development. Should housing go here, or is the area too industrial?
Pier 70 is a major redevelopment opportunity. A citizens committee is currently working with the Port to develop goals and objectives for new development on the pier.
Corner of Illinois and 18th
Are there possibilities for opening up public access and views of the waterfront here? Should we remove buildings in line with the numbered streets to open up views along street corridors, or should waterfront access be provided mid-block?
Should we make 3rd Street the major pedestrian corridor or Illinois? Should buildings be smaller or larger on Illinois versus 3rd?
The Port of San Francisco owns all the property on the east side of Illinois, requiring that we coordinate planning with them. The fish processing plants here may move to Pier 45, creating a development opportunity here. Where is housing development appropriate, and where would it conflict with industry?
Muni will be building streetcar tracks around the block of 18th, Illinois, 19th and 3rd in order to create a turn-around for the 3rd Street line. How will that affect this area? Is there an opportunity to extend the historic streetcars to this neighborhood?
None of the existing businesses in the area will be forced out, but things will evolve over time. How can we preserve the interesting character of the area while still allowing for change?
Illinois and 19th
Illinois and 20th
Housing is forbidden on Pier 70 because it is part of the working waterfront. Parking is no longer accepted as a temporary land use for Port lands except on the seawall lots where hotels are also OK.
In the American Industrial Center, the process of change is highly visible. Heavy industry once gave way for garment manufacturing, which is now giving way for high-tech office.
Illinois and 22nd
22nd and 3rd
Along with the new 3rd Street light rail line, Muni also plans to expand crosstown service to this area. The streetcar line should be operational by 2004. Major new housing and commercial construction may be possible on 3rd, especially with the arrival of the streetcar. The width of the street, however, makes it challenging to create an intimate, pedestrian-oriented street there. Twenty-fourth Street and Union Street are 60 feet wide, while 3rd varies from 82 to 110 feet.
Currently, there is likely not enough housing and places to work in the neighborhood to support more than the limited retail there now.
Major truck traffic also affects the livability of the street. Is it possible to build a new truck bridge at Islais Creek and divert trucks to Illinois?
The old schoolhouse on Tennessee offers interesting potential for historic re-use. The Omega Boys Club meets here, but it is generally unused.
The old fire station building is also beautiful, but it is next to very unattractive new live/work buildings. Light industrial uses are pervasive along this residential street, but here there are few conflicts between housing and light industry. This type of industry is very different than that on Illinois.
The bridge up to Potrero Hill is not at all pedestrian friendly, with almost non-existent sidewalks.
Esprit Park is the only real park in the neighborhood, but it is not publicly owned. Nearby residents are very enthusiastic about the park and want to keep it. To them it feels safe at all times of day. Many users like the mix of passive recreation and dog walking that occurs there. The sidewalk treatment with street trees along the park is especially beautiful.
19th and Tennessee
19th and 3rd
Other live/work buildings along 3rd Street are very unfriendly to walk past, with many driveways, blank garage doors and garbage bins. So many driveways are provided that all the public on-street parking was lost.
3rd and Mariposa