An auto repair shop on Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset. Photo: Aaron Bialick
San Francisco’s many auto repair shops are mostly concentrated along its motor traffic sewers, but when they’re placed without restriction in the thick of restaurants, shops, and pedestrian traffic, can they hinder our city’s most valuable streets as desirable places to be?
“Auto repair shops, and other auto-oriented uses like parking and gas stations, can degrade the pedestrian environment in neighborhoods,” said Tom Radulovich, the director of Livable City.
On Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset, one of the city’s many commercial streets, three repair shops sit in the mix of residences, shops and restaurants. Street life is plentiful on the stretch, but the space around the large auto shop between Irving and Judah streets in particular appears empty. Shelby, a resident of the neighborhood, was enjoying a snack outside Arizmendi Bakery a few doors down.
“Randomly, you’ll have a little strip of small restaurants and art galleries, but then you’ll have places like that that don’t seem to fit in because they just got there first,” said Shelby. She also pointed out that many vehicles pulling in and out of some garages, and the illegal parking they attract, can hinder and endanger passersby.
“It sucks as a bicyclist when you’re trying to go up a hill or something and there are three cars double parked,” she said. Cars left on the sidewalk aren’t an uncommon sight, either.