A Call to Save Stockton Street

Societies can rise or fall based on the quantity and quality of their public spaces. New decent public spaces are rare and precious is the day when there’s a chance of a new one. Does it matter if you live near that proposed space? No. Any new public space is a beacon to the world, showing that we need and can have public spaces everywhere.

So let us celebrate the possibility that this street…Stockton-Before
…could become this…
Stockton-After
This is Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco and the conceptual rendering above is from the Lower Stockton Improvement Project. The project would turn three blocks of Stockton from yet another auto sewer into a car-free pedestrian-transit-bicycle mall. People would flock to the space, bus and bicycle access and safety would improve, and merchants would be jumping for joy. Here’s the backstory behind this project.

See here for the full proposal and below for more visuals.

Stockton-overhead-map
Stockton-Market-to-Geary-cross-section

The bad news? It might not happen. The San Francisco Examiner reports that Rose Pak, a prominent power player in nearby Chinatown, is claiming to represent Chinatown merchants in an effort shut down the project. And she says she’s already won. “I consider the issue closed,” says Rose.

Here’s where you come in. We need you and as many people as possible to tell the powers-that-be: Keep the Lower Stockton Improvement Project alive. If we don’t mobilize, the project could be stopped in its tracks. But if we step up, the results could be a game-changer, not only for San Francisco but for towns and cities everywhere that notice what San Francisco does.

So, sign the Lower Stockton petition today – and tell your friends. It’ll go to the parties listed below, the folks who will decide the Project’s fate. I also suggest editing the petition’s message to fit your own voice.

This is worth your time. Once you’ve signed the petition pat yourself on the back. You’re a star.

Now, sign the petition! (click on this link and scroll down to the Lower Stockton Improvement Project petition form).

Thanks Adam, from Streetsblog, for putting this effort together!

  • Filamino

    CBS5: “The closure will last until 2017…”
    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/07/30/driving-around-san-francisco-union-square-about-to-get-trickier/

    Huffington Post: “SFMTA Spokesman Pal Rose told KTVU that the agency expects the roadway to reopen in sometime in 2017.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/stockton-street-closed_n_1721534.html

    ABC7 News: “…the closure is going to be…for five years.”
    http://abc7news.com/archive/8755102/

  • Lego

    I’ve lived in Chinatown since the 80s, so please raise your game and don’t make erroneous “only people who..” assertions, because it is so easy to be false (IF being wrong bothers you). Grant Avenue became a tourist trap area long before the 80s. https://assets.blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2015/01/SF1960s_1500.jpg And it looked much the same way in the 30s with chop suey places and gift bazaars. Photo link upon request. Grant Avenue stylings (cool lamposts, etc) and Dragon’s Gate was deliberately created to lure tourists (back in the teens? – you can look it up) by a tourist association. My Second and Third Point follow:

    Economic changes, not the Embarcadero Fwy demo, have changed Chinatown a small amount compared to other sf neighborhoods which are barely recognizable now. Hayes Valley, the Fillmore (even after urban renewal), Mission, SOMA (didn’t even exist, was industrial and auto shops) etc. etc. etc. have seen monumental changes relative to Chinatown. Imagine your Chinatown with no Chinese spoken – not so much Spanish is spoken on Valencia (and beyond) anymore

    How Has Chinatown Stayed Chinatown? – New York Magazine is a good article to read on the incredulous staying power of Chinatown in NY.

    Third Point. Yes, people drive to Chinatown to shop, and you can show examples and relate to those people, but it’s a tiny amount of the pie. Though auto-traffic is conspicuous – traffic looks like economic vitality. Truth is the many residents of Chinatown (like me) who, often propped up by food stamps and public housing/assistance are keeping the markets alive. 85% of Chinatown residents don’t own cars, they eat every day and they are spending their money IN Chinatown.

  • Rogue Cyclist

    Rose Pak will be awarded a lifetime achievement award by SPUR. Ugh.

    http://www.spur.org/events/2016-11-17/2016-silver-spur-awards-luncheon-0

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Touring Stockton Street: a New Perspective

|
From SPUR: Between Sacramento Street and Broadway, Stockton Street boasts the most heavily used commercial strip in all of San Francisco. Where else can you find colorful displays, fresh and inexpensive produce, and live chickens all in one location? Join SPUR and the Chinatown Community Development Center for a youth-led tour of Stockton Street. The […]

Great Streets Project Quantifies the Impacts of Parklets

|
Nearly two years after the first parklet arrived in San Francisco, a new study provides an empirical assessment of reclaiming parking spots for public space. The 2011 Parklet Impact Study [PDF], released yesterday by the SF Great Streets Project, measures changes in pedestrian volumes and activity at three new parklets built last year. The study, […]

To Boost Shopping in Chinatown, SF Brings Back Ban on Car Parking

|
In San Francisco’s Chinatown, removing car parking is great for business. Last year’s week-long trial removal of parking on five blocks of Stockton Street was so popular, in fact, that Mayor Ed Lee announced today that the program would return for another two-week run. The parking removal will make more room for vendors and the influx of […]

A Safer Polk Street vs. Preserving a Sliver of Parking

|
A new entity that calls itself the “Save Polk Street Coalition” has come out against the developing plan to improve safety for people walking and biking on Polk Street because it would entail removing some parking spaces. The group’s website, which doesn’t identify any of the businesses or residents it claims to represent, decrees: “STOP the radical agenda […]
Creating temporary and permanent public spaces should get easier with the "Public Places for People" ordinance. Photo: SFMTA

SPUR Talk: Streamlining Bureaucracies and Activating City Spaces

|
This afternoon, at the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), a panel of public officials spoke about how San Francisco’s different departments are collaborating to create more livable spaces under the new “Places for People” ordinance, passed last year.  “Streets represent 35 percent of the city’s total area,” explained Robin Abad […]