Market & Octavia Plan: Walking Tour
Following the first community workshop in each of the three pilot neighborhoods, the Planning Department hosted bus and walking tours to explore specific issues in each study area. A summary of the walking tour for the Market and Octavia project area is provided here.
On Wednesday, June 7, 2000, approximately 25 neighborhood residents joined Planning Department staff and Project Coordinator John Billovits for a two-hour evening walking tour of the Upper Market and Octavia Boulevard neighborhood. The following notes summarize points and questions raised by tour participants and Department staff at various locations.
At Octavia and Market
The freeway across Market Street has divided the community and created a hostile hole in the urban fabric in the heart of this area. Removal of the freeway, and the elevated structure spanning Market Street creates a tremendous opportunity to heal the neighborhood and knit this urban fabric back together. It is an exciting prospect to envision, with the potential to serve as a gateway to the City where the freeway terminates into the new Octavia Boulevard. Exploring the possibility of constructing a new underground Muni station at Octavia Boulevard to help tie local neighborhoods together and enliven the street is one possibility. Anunderground Muni Metro station n would be wonderful here! Is it possible? As we walked up Market at start of tour, people commented frequently on how unsafe the crosswalks and intersections are for pedestrians.
At Market and Laguna
Market Street is the most important street in the City, around which much of the built environment orients itself. It functions both as a divider of two distinct street grid patterns and an organizing element through its own grandness. There are many large, confusing and dangerous intersections where three or four streets converge that are particularly hazardous for pedestrians. Auto traffic is very busy as many people pass through and visit the area on a daily basis. The Upper Market area is wonderfully connected to public transit, both Muni and regional systems via Muni. "Barren Wasteland" (referring to sidewalk in front of Safeway). I want them to get rid of the huge Safeway sign - it's ugly and you can see it for miles. We should underground the parking. Large nice sidewalk on Dolores-but people park on the sidewalk, and it's really bad when the businesses do it too. When I call the City about it, they say it's far down on their priority list, and they'll get to it when they can. Something needs to be done about this.
At Pearl and Pink off of Market
At Fell and Gough
There was discussion about the opportunities to reduce the parking requirement and the need for automobiles in urban areas that are well-served by public transit, and that provide for residents basic daily needs within a walkable distance. Does the City create financial incentives for building owners to put in mixed-use/retail space on the ground floor? They need to do that.
Near Hayes Street
Near Octavia and Hayes
There was a suggestion to consider the small residual lots along the east side of the new Octavia Boulevard as a site for an architectural competition and a showcase for contemporary design as a distinct identifying element. Is the City going to make sure services (grocery stores, police, post office) go in there? (referring to the parking lots area and future development plans).