“Walk [Your City]” Signs Take the Guesswork Out of Hoofing It in SF

Photo: Darryl Jones/Twitter

You may have gotten a kick out of some of the signs posted along Market Street in recent weeks telling people how long it takes to walk to destinations like Yerba Buena Gardens, Civic Center, and even the Pacific Ocean.

The signs are the doing of Walk [Your City], a national effort to facilitate what has been called “guerrilla wayfinding” — providing residents the means to “plan, design and install quick, light, and affordable street signs for people.” The campaign started in Raleigh, North Carolina, but the organizers received a grant in February to bring it to other cities, including San Jose.

The signs were featured as part of the three-day Market Street Prototyping Festival, a project of the city’s Better Market Street redesign. The dozens of sidewalk exhibits, which line Market until tomorrow, are intended to “do a lot more with these beautiful sidewalks that we have… they can be much more dynamic social spaces,” said Neil Hrushowy, program director for the SF Planning Department’s City Design Group, in a KPIX segment. Hrushowy said some of the exhibits could be made permanent with Market’s reconstruction.

SF did pilot pedestrian wayfinding signs along the Embarcadero during the America’s Cup races in 2012, but they weren’t nearly as attractive or cheeky. While most of the Walk [Your City] signs are functional and point to actual destinations, some are more whimsical. “It is a 5 minute walk to High-Speed Rail (soon),” one sign said. Another sign points the way to the “Twinkie defense” — presumably, City Hall.

Photo: 7 Days of Smiles
  • hp2ena

    The Hall of Justice is another possibility.

  • yermom72

    It’s not really “wayfinding” if you’re following signs.

    These signs remind me of those websites that tell you how many minutes it will take you to read an article. Catering to the short-attention span type, I suppose.

  • mike_napolis_beard

    These are fun… helping to dispel the notion of walking as stop-gap chore, while reinforcing the idea that it can be a viable travel choice.

  • What is this bullshit? Encouraging people to use their legs like suckers & get in the way of the almighty vehicle?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Continental Crosswalks and Sharrows Striped at Market and Sixth Streets

|
The SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) highlighted crosswalks and added sharrows at the intersection of Market and Sixth streets last week. The improvements should improve pedestrian visibility and help drivers comply with the mandatory right turn put in place last year. “It’s an excellent first step in improving this dangerous intersection,” said Walk SF Executive […]

Tomorrow: Hearing on Traffic Signals to Speed Muni on Haight, McAllister

|
On the agenda [PDF] for tomorrow’s SFMTA public engineering hearing are proposals to speed up Muni lines with transit-priority traffic signals and bus bulb-outs along Haight and McAllister Streets. These types of changes are central to the Muni Transit Effectiveness Project, but some residents have voiced concerns about replacing stop signs with traffic signals and […]

Upper Market Street Gets First Phase of Safety Upgrades

|
The SFMTA has completed its first wave of safety upgrades on Upper Market Street. The changes include painted sidewalk extensions (a.k.a. “safety zones”), high-visibility crosswalks, and signs prohibiting drivers from turning right at red lights. SFMTA officials and Supervisor Scott Wiener held a press conference today to mark the completion of the improvements between Octavia […]

Sidewalk Cycling Ban Again Proposed for Downtown San Jose

|
San Jose Department of Transportation (SJDOT) officials announced at a community meeting Wednesday evening that a downtown sidewalk cycling ban is again under consideration, explaining that the “Walk Your Bike” signs and banners installed in December 2013 had largely failed to convince bicyclists to ride in the streets rather than on sidewalks. Three members of […]