Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eliminating more parking in the Mission

I was wondering if you had gotten wind of the City’s plans for Bartlett St. between 21st and 22nd St. Right now this street has about 40 parking spaces. The City is planning on eliminating most of those parking spaces to create a plaza and to widen the sidewalks. The funny thing is that no one walks on this stretch of Bartlett St.---or needs to. The entire plan seems designed to eliminate parking and accomplish little else.

Here is a link to the Mission Mercado project website. It doesn’t provide lots of detail about the proposal, but it gives you a sense.

Right now, Bartlett St. has diagonal parking on one side and a total of 30 to 40 parking spaces. The proposed plan would eliminate most of the parking as a result of massively widening the sidewalk. In addition, permanent structures would be put in place to provide shelter for the merchant stalls at the weekly community market (which is a nice enough market, but it has been struggling to survive).

The Planning Department is holding a meeting this Wednesday at 6:00 pm at the Women's Building (3543 18th Street) to discuss the Mercado Project.

Other neighbors and I have the following concerns.

1. Elimination of Parking: The proposed design eliminates parking which will hurt both residents and businesses in the area. The parking is eliminated in order to massively widen the sidewalks on Bartlett St. As there is little pedestrian traffic on that street, we believe that it would make more sense to just modestly widen the sidewalks and retain most or all of the existing parking.

2. Permanent Stall Shelters: The proposed design includes permanent coverings designed for use by merchants at the weekly market. We are concerned that that those shelters will become graffiti magnets and also will prevent other uses of the plaza. In addition, these shelters are very expensive (several hundred thousand dollars). As every other market in the City that I am aware of seems to do fine with temporary tenting, it is unclear why we are spending so much money on these shelters.

3. Process: The planning process has not been transparent or fair. It appears that Jeremy Shaw has been central to the design; but he has a clear conflict of interest as he runs the private organization that operates the Mission Community Market. In contrast local neighborhood and business organizations have not been involved. Not surprisingly, the final design favors Jeremy's particular private interests and not the views of the broader public. I think it is highly inappropriate for the City to allow the head of a private organization to redesign a public street to benefit that private organization.


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At 4:14 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

Little by little the City is expanding Fisherman's Wharf for the tourist trade, turning the Mission into an outgrowth of Pier 39. Already you can bike across to bridge to Sausalito and ferry back, soon they will bike up Market to Valencia, tour the Mission and the Castro (bring back the Naked Men!) and then cruise back to the wharf on a rent-a-bike. Money, money, money --the Mission Is the New Marina!

It was almost exactly eleven years ago when at 10a.m. on a weekday morning outside of Popeye's "five people were wounded -- two critically -- after a fistfight erupted into gunfire" and one "ran west on 22nd Street and north on Bartlett Street before collapsing." [sfgate]

The gang bangers are going to have a field day battling over who will own this area after dark. Going to be fun to watch.
[crosspost from uptownalmanac.com]

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, tourism is the city's largest industry. But that's no reason to eliminate parking in the neighborhoods. Interesting that the Bartlett Street project is coming out of the Planning Dept., the Pavement to Parks program. The assumption is that city streets should be used for anything---street fairs, street markets, parklets, bike lanes, etc.---but actual traffic, especially traffic consisting of those wicked motor vehicles.

When any city department can eliminate street parking for one of their projects they evidently have a green light from City Hall.

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great use of PUBLIC space.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The link is to "Curbed," a real estate blog that supports whatever our aggressively pro-development, anti-car City Hall wants to do.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger zRants said...

Any time you see in-kind agreement, that means they SFMTA has agreed to re-direct transit fees from Muni operations to non-Muni projects. You can assume that every street project such as the Mercado Plaza project is going to drain milllions of dollars from Muni.

After draining millions of dollars from the Muni into these complete street projects, the SFMTA will claim they are broke and must raise the rates, (they just did that), and must sell more bonds or raise new taxes to pay for Muni operations.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but community spaces like this are much-needed in San Francisco. One only has to look back pre-1940 to see we used to have many public gathering spaces that we lost. This is not a war on cars, this is a fight for more communal use of public space -- ie., space paid for by the taxpayers for the benefit of anyone and everyone. Using public land for private vehicle parking is not always a good use of space, and we have already given away a lot of our city for that.

I'm not proposing eliminating parking, I'm simply proposing viewing these on a case-by-case basis, and this has a wonderful opportunity to be a great community public outdoor gathering space. I can't understand why you would be opposed to this, besides the fact that the planning department is in favor of it, which means you're immediately unhappy with it.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger buddyray said...

I live on this street, parking is getting more and more difficult. I would be all for this project if the 110 unit condo building were not going up along side this project on the same street.

The ultimate contradiction, you can't swipe away all the parking spots, and put up a 110 unit condo and movie theater which will totally increase demand. We should make the developers of these projects put in another PUBLIC garage on their land. They are doing this but it's for the private residence use that will be attached to a $600k condo. So much for affordable housing.


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