Market Street Prototyping Festival Banner

Chosen based on their “creativity, sense of community, potential to make Market Street a more vibrant public space and ability to identify Market Street as uniquely San Francisco,” the fifty (50) teams which will each receive a $2,000 stipend to prototype their ideas for San Francisco’s Market Street Prototyping Festival have been selected.

The selected projects include ideas for “an urban living room, a revolving “Zen door,” interactive light installations, wayfinding signage to boost the walkability of the City, and a visual and oral exploration of San Francisco’s forgotten waterways.”

Originally scheduled to be held earlier this month, the festival to showcase the prototypes will now be held from April 9th-11th, 2015 on Market Street’s sidewalks from the Embarcadero to Van Ness.

After the festival, any number of the teams could be selected to work with the city to build out their ideas to become permanent, or semi-permanent, fixtures of Market Street and beyond.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Live Smart

    Why keep spending small sums on these piecemeal projects? It’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Use the money to clean up the street, get rid of the groups of loiterers/bums , and change the zoning to reduce/eliminate the SROs in the area.

    • Posted by S

      we need affordable housing. while I’m happy to see development in the form of new condos, we also need to consciously be building dense rentals without tons of parking. this is a city and the type of housing going up is more appropriate for places like Foster City than for here. Suburban-style town homes may have a place in neighborhoods like Noe Valley but South of Market, Market Street, Downtown, etc are perfect places for more urban rentals.

      • Posted by Mark

        I agree…to a point. However, people need parking because our transit systems are subpar and not integrated properly. For example, the Caltrain extension to downtown is now on hold forever. As for affordable housing, land ain’t cheap. Developers want to squeeze out as much cash as possible and there’s a huge market for high end rents and big ticket condo prices. Affordable units are now being built elswhere in the city, in the less “desirable” areas where transit isn’t that spectacular.

        Town homes aren’t just for suburbs and in an urban setting create more of a neighborhood feel than tower after tower after tower.

        • Posted by S

          Yes but don’t you think that’s poor planning? They’re putting rich people with cars in the most transit rich areas and poor people who tend to rely more on transit in far flung areas.

          The more desirable areas are more expensive so build up and without parking to make more affordable units. I’m not thinking towers – just 6-8 stories like the Tenderloin.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Well, guess what? Rich people and poor people exist in all cities. There’s no law that says we all have to be equal financially. (well, except in most of Communist China).
            We will always have rich and poor in San Francisco.

            There is a lot of available land in the Southern part of SF for building housing. Affordable? I’m not so sure. Affordable is a relative term.

            If you can’t “afford” to live here, then, well you cant.

          • Posted by S

            @Futurist – “affordable” is a vague term. I didn’t necessarily mean that the housing I’m talking about should be reserved for a specific class of people. I just question the judgement of building units designed for people accustomed to a certain lifestyle (namely one that involves car ownership) in the most transit accessible neighborhoods (namely Soma). Especially when creating larger units that include parking tend to cost more.

            Why not build buildings targeting people other than the comparatively rich? What happened to apartment houses? Surely apartments exempt from rent control could still be a valuable commodity and they would provide transitional housing which is in huge demand here.

          • Posted by Mark

            Futurist is right…if you can’t afford to live here then live somewhere else.

          • Posted by joh

            “They’re putting rich people with cars in the most transit rich areas and poor people who tend to rely more on transit in far flung areas”

            Good transit adds lots of value to a neighborhood. Put good transit in the poorer neighborhoods and watch it gentrify.

          • Posted by S

            @Futurist and @Mark – you’re not seeing the point I’m trying to make. It’s not right that all the units being built are geared towards amenities that only rich people can afford to have. Especially when a project should be able to pencil out if you provide a higher density of units without costly amenities.

            The official policies of the city, including planning, should be a product of SF values and what the voters want. The voters have made clear that they want affordable housing. If you want to live in a gated community full of rich people, you’ve moved to the wrong place.

          • Posted by Futurist

            What happens when Oakland gentrifies??

            It gets better!

            What a concept.

          • Posted by S

            @Futurist

            You may think this is all a big joke but not everyone can be born with the opportunities that you obviously have. Just because people are poor does not mean that they don’t work hard or are stupid. like it or not, they are a necessary part of the fabric of our society and an integral part of the economy.

            It’s incredibly irresponsible for a city/region to add jobs and not have adequate housing for those workers. Rents in Oakland have already increased 25% this year. Did wages increase 25%? Oh I guess they should just move to Tracy – problem solved!

        • Posted by Futurist

          @ S: Why is it “not right”? You don’t really understand the cost of building in SF regardless of amenities added or not. SF values are a wide ranging set of beliefs. Are you now advocating we create ONE set of values, like, say in Communist China?

          SF is hardly a gated community. What about those who can’t afford to rent/buy in SF try Oakland, as an example?

          • Posted by S

            and what happens when Oakland gentrifies? Service jobs are a significant part of the economy in SF – thousands more service jobs than tech jobs. How is it good planning to have thousands of jobs that pay minimum wage and no where to house the workers? People are not stupid. If it costs more in transportation to get to a job in SF than you get paid, then they are not going to work there.

          • Posted by S

            You seem to be approaching this discussion like I think people should be entitled to live somewhere. I completely understand that people with limited means have to make sacrifices to secure a home. I’m just saying that good planning means accommodating your workers in housing near to where they work. it’s better for the environment, better for the community, and better for business (ie if someone calls in sick there are replacement workers nearby)

            Having the person making your coffee in Noe Valley coming in from Tracy is not sustainable and should not be considered an adequate solution to our housing problems.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Yes, that’s exactly what I think you think.
            But you are cleverly disguising your true goal: That you want EVERYONE who wants to live in the city of San Francisco with the entitled right to live here, even if they can NOT afford it. You’re ignoring the potentials of Oakland, other less costly East Bay cities and much of the undeveloped southern part of SF proper.

            And really; you actually believe that someone who may work at a Noe Valley coffee bar (why did you pick Noe Valley??) would actually live in Tracy. Seriously?

            I get that there are haters (or dislikers) here of Noe Valley. I just don’t get why.

            The people I know who work at, say, Martha Bros. Coffee on 24th St, (awesome by the way) all live in SF.

          • Posted by S

            @Futurist – not true at all. People should be free to choose where to live based on where they work, the lifestyle they want, etc. Maybe someone doesn’t make a lot of money but they need a yard and space for a car – well, maybe they should check out Hercules.

            That said, SF (and every other city in the Bay Area for that matter) can expect to just be able to outsource their poor to other cities.

            The undertone of your comments is that if people are poor, they must be doing something wrong. If they want something, they should work for it, etc. No one is denying the value of hard work but it’s easier said than done when you obviously have no understanding of what sort of hardships people endure.

            I’m in no place to generalize the sort of things people go through or say that everyone who wants to live in SF should be able to. I’m just saying that if every city decides to build housing for one customer, what we end up with as a region is more traffic, more pollution, and higher rates segregation and inequality.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            This debate needs to take place in the context of the Bay Area, not just S.F. No one expects the Upper East Side of Manhattan to cater to every income level’s housing needs. Queens and the Bronx and Staten Island, with their varied price points and housing modes, exist for a reason – and it’s not only appropriate but necessary for housing discussions here to take into account Marin, the East Bay, and the Peninsula. If developers can sell 100% high-end units in S.F., then I don’t think bureacracy should stop them from doing so – even if it winds up pricing me to Berkeley or Burlingame. That’s how markets work (outside of planned economies, of course!).

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            S, the city of SF is a lot more than 3 blocks on either side of Market St. There’s plenty of so-called affordable housing in this city of 7 x 7 miles and even more if you include its suburbs like you would if we were talking about any other major city that just didn’t happen to have an arbitrary county line a few miles from its downtown.

            Do you think the people who work in low-paying service jobs in Downtown Chicago or Downtown Houston all live within a couple of miles of their jobs? Of course not, but those two are sprawling cities so people think it’s perfectly normal that people have to commute in from the suburbs. Well, guess what, it’s normal in SF too. It’s just you head-in-sand “progressive” (i.e., against progress) who pretend it’s different.

          • Posted by Jake

            Futurist, where did you get the spectacularly incorrect idea that most of the People’s Republic of China has laws that “all have to be equal financially” or that they have or aspire to “create ONE set of values” for everyone?
            That’s just bizarre and nothing like reality or the prevailing doctrine.

          • Posted by S

            @Sierra Jeff and @FDOTN

            Of course affordable housing should be accounted for regionally but the problem in the Bay Area is that every single city from Marin county down to the South Bay is actively adding jobs and not adding any housing targeted toward middle and lower income people.

            My point is that it’s unsustainable to expect people to commute to low paying jobs from outlying exurbs with poor transit. To me, good planning is accounting for housing the people who work in the community. Of course people may have to choose to work and live in different cities to get the lifestyle they want in their budget but just telling people to “move somewhere else” is an over simplistic solution that eschews responsibility for poor planning.

          • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

            This is a red herring. Nobody is forced to “commute to low paying jobs from outlying exurbs with poor transit.” Now some make that choice, generally because they want a big house in those outlying exurbs. But there are quite affordable areas much closer to SF, such as parts of Oakland, south SF, or near the BART line in Martinez, Concord, etc. And, of course, there are smaller places, which are less expensive. But people like big homes more than they dislike long commutes. I agree with those saying we need to build more, in SF and neighboring areas. But it is not critical that lower-income housing be located in the most desirable parts of SF.

  2. Posted by Mark

    Some people have either never been down Market Street or they live on some utopian planet.

    An urban living room? Considering most of the area west of 5th St. is an urban toilet, why not put the bathroom near the sofa. The major problem with Market St. is not just the homeless/panhandling/etc., but the city’s tolerance for it. Given all the tech money in this city you’d think the area would have been cleaned up. It didn’t happen in the late 90s. It ain’t happening now. The new highrises going up in Mid Market won’t solve the problem since the majority of the people who will live there will avoid the Market St. mess by driving into their underground parking spots and taking the elevator to their condos high above the filth of the street.

    Wayfinding? Yes, it is sorely needed, to indicate where to go and where not to go.

    • Posted by S

      Have you been down Market street lately? I’ve never seen the blocks between 5th and Van Ness more activated. It’s actually amazing how things have changed in just a few short years. Yes there are still homeless people but it’s no where near as bad as it was.

      • Posted by Mark

        Yes, I have been down Market St. lately and clearly we have differing opinions on what constitutes “improvement.” My whole point is that these ridiculous band-aid approaches do not solve the real problems. Kearny and points east are a dead zone after 6pm except for the homeless camps setting up outside the MUNI/BART stations. During the day, it’s a joy to watch people (mostly tourists) eating outside of cafes, like the Lee’s Deli on Market/2nd, being hassled and watching all sorts of “only in SF” acts like defecation and projectile vomit. I’ve seen it. I’ve stepped in it. I’m tired of it.

        Light shows and outdoor living rooms aren’t the solution. They are all a waste of money.

        • Posted by S

          Your first comment you’re talking about 5th street and west… your second comment is now about Kearny and East. Same street, very different issues. The eastern part of Market is dominated by M-F, 9-5 businesses so it makes sense that it’s dead on weekends and after 6. It’s really simple, just figure out a way to add residences or hotels to create demand for services outside those hours.

          I commute down Market street daily and have for the last 10 years. I have never seen more people on the sidewalks between 8th and Van Ness than I do today. To me that constitutes an improvement as before it really was a dead zone. I see people actually hanging out on Market street after work (e.g. the new food hall where Hollywood Billiards was or the new bar across from Twitter HQ).

          It seems to me your real issue is with homeless people congregating on public streets. To that I say that I can hardly blame SF for failing to solve this problem. It’s really a national issue and when you have zero support in 99% of the country, it makes sense that we have more homeless here in SF than we can care for. We should change our expectations of how this issue should be addressed.

          • Posted by Mark

            “The major problem with Market St. is not just the homeless/panhandling/etc., but the city’s tolerance for it.” I clearly stated my real issue earlier and there’s no simple solution.

          • Posted by Spencer

            I travel a lot, and although homelessness is a national issue, it is much worse in SF than other major cities in the US. With as a much money as this city is raking in right now, you might think the city could help these people get off the streets by providing housing in less expensive areas of the city. And if they refuse help find a way to force them off the street. other cities seem to be able to do a better job

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Completely agree w/Mark – we walked down Market from Embarcadero all the way to Civic Center, the day before Pride – i.e., when there were presumably more non-homeless people out and about than is normally the case – and from 6th to the Civic Center was an embarassment (in places bordering on dangerous-feeling). When we’d see the occassional tourist, we felt like running over and giving them $2 for Muni and pointing them in, oh, *any* direction so that they could see something better of our city than the mid-Market rats’ nest.

          • Posted by S

            All most cities do is shuffle the homeless out of one neighborhood and into another. Manhattan is noticeably absent of homeless people but NYC has about 53,000 people staying in shelters on a given night.

            Sure, move them off of Market street to somewhere else. That won’t solve the problem.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            The “problem” is that some people think the problem can be “solved”. There have been homeless people for millenia – who do you think the fools of Shakespeare’s plays are based on? While there are plenty of people down on their luck, who need a hand and a break, there also are plenty of people happy to sit on their arse and beg for pot money – for instance the Haight lately has become a flippin’ disgrace, and most of the people I see there aren’t looking for a way to get a fresh start, they’re looking to drop out and coast along.

            Regardless, I didn’t say anything about shuffling homeless people about. I didn’t say anything about homelessness at all. I was speaking to the bizarre state of affairs that is the mid-Market area, where some of the prime real estate in one of the most expensive cities in the world is taken over by porn shops and head shops and fleabag SROs.

  3. Posted by unlivable city

    These fussy little propaganda shows from the SFMTAINT are such a joke. Yesterday I watched as traffic on Church street heading toward market backed up THREE BLOCKS crawling along while the hideous brick ‘red’ bus and taxi only lanes sat completely empty. Not a bus or train in sight.

    Meanwhile fat cat developers are given whole lanes of traffic plus parking spaces adjacent to their ugly projects for months on end, sometimes even years, forcing traffic to side streets or single lanes. Major streets are being intentionally clogged by the car-haters at the SFMTA. It is a menace, and no tired little propaganda shows will hide that simple truth.

    • Posted by S

      remove parking on those blocks – you can have your lanes and muni can have theirs. problem solved

      • Posted by Mark

        Right. And business owners will love the removal of parking. The reality is that more people would take transit instead of driving if we actually had a decent transit system.

        • Posted by S

          Muni accounts for 500,000 trips per day. It’s obviously working for many people. You’re simultaneously too good to sit in traffic yet too good to take transit instead.

          Besides, the businesses in those blocks are catering to people in the neighborhood. I can’t think of a single business there that would be worth going to from another neighborhood aside from maybe Safeway which has a huge parking lot.

          • Posted by Mark

            Don’t make assumptions, S. I take transit every single day to/from work. I also take transit at other times. I do own a car and yes, I will drive to Church St. to grab lunch, shop or hang out. Clearly, you don’t think highly of those neighborhood businesses that would attract folks from other parts of the city. Shame on you.

            Just because MUNI accounts for 500,000 trips a day doesn’t mean you have half a million satisfied riders.

          • Posted by S

            ha! touche 🙂

            That’s your choice if you want to drive, though. I’m sure if a study were done like the Polk Street one, they’d find the majority of customers don’t arrive to those businesses by car. Obviously street space here is at a premium. Why waste it to park a dozen cars when instead we could have free flowing traffic?

          • Posted by Mark

            I don’t know about that…Polk Street businesses are fighting the bike lane plan that will eliminate street parking north of McAllister.

          • Posted by S

            @Mark – just because the merchants are fighting the removal of parking doesn’t mean that those studies saying that the majority of their customers are walking and biking there are wrong. I come from a family of SF small business owners, namely liquor stores, conveniences stores, delis, etc. None of them live in SF anymore and they all drive to work. I’m thinking these merchants are fighting to preserve parking for their own selfish reasons – not because of their customers.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          The Geary Ave. store owners association illustrate all that’s wrong with planning here. They seem to think that putting a subway down Geary would ruin their businesses (you know, like the retail dead zones that constitute midtown Manhattan), and so we’re stuck with poor transit and clogged streets.

          • Posted by Spencer

            how do you know this? have they said this recently? ive talked with the inner richmond supe and some storeowners and they dont seem to be against it. the inner richmond doenst have the same political influence as chinatown or telegraph hill devils.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            David Heller, president of the Geary Blvd. Merchants Ass’n, is strongly on the record opposing any public transit improvements on Geary.

        • Posted by NoeValleyJim

          Vote for A then and give the MTA enough money to buy a new fleet of buses.

    • Posted by seriously

      developers aren’t “given” spaces- they have to take out costly permits on them like anyone who uses a spot in front of their property would. you can have your opinions on cars in the city, but pointing fingers at construction projects and complaining that developers are simply “greedy” doesn’t help your case at all.

  4. Posted by R

    I agree with both of you above. These sort of efforts might help with awareness, and engagement, but they rarely do much to address issue in legitimate ways.

    Improving the wayfinding, cleanliness and transportation along Market would provide a perfect foundation for the rest of the “desirable” improvements, naturally.

  5. Posted by jamesjr

    Closing off Market Street to cars from 10th Street moving east has been a mess. Every city that closes off their main street to cars has come to regret it.

    There is room for bikes, cars and buses, if only the city would decide all modes of transportation are important.

    I totally agree with Live Smart about the SROs. But until the non-profits (and their city sponsor) let go, those will remain a cesspool of drugs, booze and homeless misery.

    • Posted by BigV

      That is not true. Try Pearl Street in Boulder and a simple example of an excellent result from closing a main street to car traffic. many other examples abound.

      • Posted by Mark

        And many other examples failed miserably. Buffalo, NY. I lived there when the ped mall and light rail was put through a mile of downtown. A disaster. Even the crickets left. Boulder (<100,000) and SF(800,000 plus entire Bay Area region) are also unfair comparisons.

        • Posted by parklife

          You don’t have to go as far as Buffalo. K Street in Sacramento was closed to cars when light rail was introduced. The experiment did not go well and last year, cars were re-introduced to K Street.

    • Posted by S

      There is no parking on Market street and it’s pretty congested as is. The cars don’t seem to understand how to work with transit and bikes on the street (not that all cyclists get it either).

      I strongly feel that the best way to accommodate cars downtown is to route them off of Market street. Most of the cars are crossing from North to South and visa versa as there are no car-oriented destinations on Market street to begin with.

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      Cars don’t play well with other modes. Already cars drive in the brick red bus lanes, double park in the bike lanes and threaten pedestrians. Cars have all the other streets in San Francisco to drive on already, closing one to everyone else isn’t the end of the world.

  6. Posted by invented

    Hire Jan Gehl and move on. Stop the waste of time and design by committee. Since we’re giving over building designs and financing to foreigners, why not the streets? 15 years of Market Street visioning and we’re still at it — this city simply doesn’t stop iffing. Lean forward and do.

  7. Posted by Mark

    Yes, if configured properly, there is certainly enough room for all modes to flow harmoniously on Market St. However, maybe the city should consider having more than one “Main Street.”

    • Posted by Anon94123

      There is an excellent article in the Marina times about a case study of when a very busy portion of State Street in Chicago was closed to cars, and it RUINED the street. (click on my name) Removing cars does not solve the many problems Market Street currently has.

      • Posted by S

        That may be the case but it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of people heading to a destination on Market street are taking transit, biking, or walking. The drivers on the street are for the most part, going somewhere else and just passing through.

        If that wasn’t the case – if all the people shopping and working near Market street were driving there – then I could see how closing the street to cars would ruin the street but I just don’t think that will happen here.

        • Posted by Mark

          Really? Do you have any statistics to back this up?

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      What if Market and Mission were each one-way (one eastbound, one westbound)?

      • Posted by frog

        That sounds like a crazy idea, but it isn’t. There would be separate bus, bike and car lanes, and maybe even left turns. It’s a more useful idea to consider than “zen” anything ever could hope to be.

      • Posted by NoeValleyJim

        That would work, if we could get Class One bike lanes with dedicated signaling. I have heard a rumor that the current long term plan is to make Market Transit only and put all the bike lanes on Mission with the cars.

        • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

          Dedicated signaling for cyclists? To what end? Surely you’re not implying that cyclists in SF would ever obey a signal.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Cyclists obey the law about as much as automobile drivers, which is to say not much.

          • Posted by NJ

            Sorry, but in this town, cyclists obey the law far less than automobile drivers, particularly as to laws involving respect for others on the road. Case in point, four-way stops. Sure, drivers make rolling stops, but they nearly always wait for their turn to go. On the other hand, I have had to slam my brakes to avoid hitting a biker blowing through the stop sign more times than I can count. On average, the attitude is far worse for bikers.

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            “Cyclists obey the law about as much as automobile drivers, which is to say not much.”

            That is a hilariously false statement. The number of cyclists in this city who obey the traffic laws is very close to zero. Some actually do stop at red lights, but practically none stop at stop signs or crosswalks.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            You could say the same about motorists. How many obey the speed limit? Or never roll through a stop sign? Casting stones and all that …

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            I have studies that prove otherwise. 78 percent of cars do a Hollywood Stop, while 92 percent of cyclists roll through stop signs. Most cars speed, while almost no cyclists do. Overall, cars are a bit more likely to break the law than cyclists, in numerous studies.

            http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/cyclists-cause-less-than-10-of-bikecar-accidents.html

            http://wisconsinbikefed.org/2013/04/15/our-pr-problem-self-righteous-spandex-wearing-scofflaws/

            Which makes sense, because in many cases it is the exact same people in a car or in a bicycle.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Go to the J Church stop at Glen Park sometime and you can watch the “Your Speed Is” sign for San Jose. It is 35 MPH there. Last time I waited for the J for 5 minutes and every single car was speeding, the slowest was going 39 MPH. Most were going over 45!

          • Posted by Spencer

            NVJ, treehugger.com sounds like a really reliable source. many of us commute and see this everyday.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Spencer, so you are telling me that all you have is anecdotal evidence for your point of view? I think are you guilty of selection bias, where you tend to notice what you want to notice to confirm your point of view. Speeding is a far bigger problem than blowing stop signs, from a safety perspective. You probably don’t even notice it when you are going five miles an hour over the speed limit in an automobile, I know I sure don’t. I *do* notice when I go the speed limit that other drivers tailgate me.

            Bicyclists do blow a lot of stop signs though, I acknowledge that. I have almost been run over a couple of times myself on my bicycle, since I stop at stop signs, I have almost been run over from behind a couple of times and had a few near misses for t-bones.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Oh Spencer if you had actually bothered to read the article you were commenting on, you would have known it referenced a University of Toronto research study. Here I will link to it directly so you don’t have to contaminate your browser with that hippie stuff:

      • Posted by Jake

        There are some practical problems with making Market St one-way, including how to handle the one-way streets on the north side that intersect with Market at locations that are mid-block to the south of Market street grid. For example McAllister, Turk, and O’Farrell.
        I think surface transit should travel both directions on both Market and Mission because they both carry many passengers and with the increasing density along them that should be encouraged.
        Also, one-way streets tend to have faster traffic than two-way streets of similar width. Part of what made Market St dangerous was cars going too fast to interact with the dense pedestrian traffic. Safety still seems to be a major problem. And I still encounter plenty of dense pedestrians.

  8. Posted by anon

    S- how many urban case studies need to be presented before you come to realize CARS do not cause homelessness, public urination and street feces, etc? Chicago, Sacramento, etc. etc, were presented yet it seems like some type of creepy Faith Based theory that if only the cars were gone, the problems would go away. I never drive to or down Market Street, but I find an added safety in having drivers and others nearby when walking or biking down certain blocks of that street.
    As was posted earlier , if cars were so horrible, then why did Michigan Avenue take all the retail from State Street after cars were banned? (See article posted earlier above) Michigan Avenue and Fifth Avenue are both packed with cars and it adds to the urban context that is “city living”. Leave the suburban pedestrian malls that are safe for 4 year olds to bike in the suburbs.

    • Posted by S

      I’m confused – did I say that removing cars off of Market st would solve homelessness?

      1. I don’t think removing cars from Market street will have dire consequences. In the studies REGARDING MARKET ST IN SF,CA, it was found most cars travel on Market street for an average of two blocks. In my own personal experience commuting along Market street for the last 10 years, I have found that to be true as well.

      In many places, removing cars is probably a bad idea (especially if that’s how the majority of people arrive somewhere). That’s not the case on Market street though it would be just as simple to remove cars during business hours and allow them back in the evening.

      2. I maintain that homelessness is a national problem that the city of SF alone cannot solve. Naturally as a tolerant and liberal place, we attract more than our fair share of people living on the streets. If the issue of extreme poverty and mental illness were addressed on a national level, I feel that people would have less incentive to come all the way here. I could be wrong – I’m no expert – just my two cents.

      • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

        Maybe homelessness per se can’t be solved, but law and order certainly can and should be enforced. Turning a blind eye to filthy, stinky and unsafe streets which drive away locals and tourists alike is not a solution.

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      There are many many examples of great urban spaces that are car-free: La Rambla in Barcelona, Orchard Street Mall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Downtown Guadalajara, Independencia street in Tlaquepaque, Strøget in Copenhagen, 16th Street Mall in Denver, Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat (and others) in Amsterdam, huge chunks of Jerusalem, all of Venice, and that just lists the places I have visited personally! All are thriving commercial districts and much beloved by their population. Most people prefer not to have to breath exhaust fumes and risk getting run over crossing the street.

      • Posted by Orland

        What a breathe of reasoned information for a change.

        I would personally very much welcome converting Market to a transit-only mall taking a cue from Denver’s 16 Street Mall. Eliminate parking on Mission to facilitate the increased vehicular traffic while diminishing MUNI’s presence there in view of the concentrated transit emphasis on our mainstem.

  9. Posted by Rob

    Anyone have a link to the 50 identified teams and their associated ideas?

    [Editor’s Note: We’re working on it.]

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Here’s an idea: Autosurveillance – install 50 webcams and 50 video monitors at locations up and down Market. Randomly pair video displays with cameras. You could watch what is happening 3 blocks away. Every few minutes reshuffle the pairing between camera and display. Steam the whole thing on the web. Encourage and enable websites to capture, analyze, edit, and publish content from the webcam streams.

      open transparent cheap

      • Posted by Spencer

        require addition of license plates to bicycles, so they can also be ticketed via camera for breaking the rules

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Whats’ up with this thread? Ya try to stay on topic and someone comes in to bring it back to the bike vs. car debate.

          • Posted by Anon94123

            Re: surveillance….There used to be a website set up by a guy living in the Tenderloin where he had cameras from his flat pointed down to the street to show the crime going on down below, and some organization here in the city went to court to have him take the cameras and site down because it was an invasion of privacy. The live streaming cameras captured robberies, a shooting, accidents, attacks, fights, brawls, you name it, and as far as I can remember, it did not help reduce street crime at all.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Yeah, I remember that webcam and the tragic buffoonery that it captured. Its really ironic that it was taken down based on privacy grounds. So you can have a webcam and privately use the video stream that invades peoples privacy. Even a big company can use that info for their purposes. But make that stream public so the anyone, even of limited means, can peruse the video stream is a foul?

            This is actually sort of the point that my proposal is making. If everything is open and free then everyone at least knows where and what is monitored and everyone has equal access. The status quo of private video steams on the other hand tilts the balance of power in favor of those who can afford to install and maintain webcams.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Do you mean Adam Jackson of adamsblock.com fame? He took it down due to death threats, not legal action. There might have been others.

        • Posted by Futurist

          Yes.

  10. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Pretty good use for $100,000 if you ask me, we might get one or two really good ideas out of it. You can’t do anything serious for that kind of money to address homelessness or traffic congestion anyway.

  11. Posted by Anon94123

    Interesting in that this looks like it is not being done with MTA money, very nice indeed. I was just reading that over 490 people at the MTA make over 100K in salaries while over 20 make more than the Governor of California. Then when you add the overtime collected by drivers and mechanics and you have a lot of 6 figure public employees with a great benefit package. Now if they could just get the escalators working again.

  12. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The Market St. Prototyping Festival begins TODAY and runs through Saturday. Check it out.

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