Friday, April 10, 2009

Pedestrianism Vol. 4

Pedestrianism Vol. 4 from Josh Bingham

This edition is HD by Vimeo's standards. I recommend viewing it full-screen with HD on and scaling off.

This walk circumnavigates one of San Francisco's ugliest warts: the tangled maze of on- and off-ramps that connect Potrero Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street to Highway 101 while separating the Mission and Bayview Districts for car-free residents. Other liveable streets advocates have taken to calling this monstrosity the "hairball," and I'll use that term here as well since my own name for it is unprintable.

We start at Muni's Potrero trolly yard and maintenance facility, recipient of some much-needed Federal stimulus funds and end at the Flowercraft garden center on Bayshore Boulevard. Since the hairball cuts off the most direct route, down Potrero, across C Chav and on to Bayshore, I cut across 101 at the 18th Street Pedestrian bridge and over Potrero Hill into the Islais Creek industrial area of Bayview.

Things to note in order of appearance:

  • The steep slope of Mariposa between Potrero and Utah Street results in steps for a sidewalk.
  • 18th Street pedestrian bridge
  • Potrero Hill community garden is planted on former Caltrans land
  • McKinley Square park with its formal Victorian lawn and panoramic views
  • The section of Vermont Street adjacent to McKinley Square is curvier than Lombard, but far less famous
  • The lack of pedestrian crossings on C Chav, even east of the hairball, forces pedestrians to go out of their way around Kansas and Marin Streets, past the KOFY TV20 studios and Beronio Lumber
  • The Bayshore Boulevard traffic sewer with its merge turns and narrow sidewalks encourages motorists to drive recklessly. Note the failure to yield at 2:18
  • The Old Clam House is a San Francisco institution; a relic of the days when this area was wetlands surrounding Islais Creek
  • The old Whole Earth Access and Goodman's Lumber buildings. Locals remember these places fondly; the latter is the site of the ever-controversial and endlessly reincarnated proposed Big Box Home Center store

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