Better Market Street Project Announces Citizen Advisory Committee

mayor_blick.jpgMayor Newsom and Blick’s Edward Ogorzaly. Photo: Mayor’s Press Office.

On the same day San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced yet another intervention along central Market Street aimed at rejuvenating the beleaguered section between 5th and Van Ness, the Department of Public Works (DPW) announced it was convening a citizens advisory committee (CAC) to help steer the long-term vision for remaking the city’s most iconic street.

Newsom joined the owner of Blick Art Materials in a ribbon cutting yesterday for a new flagship store at 979 Market, near 6th Street, and announced a weekly arts market as part of a Central Market Arts District. The new market opens today at U.N. Plaza and will be co-sponsored by Blick, in what the city hopes will anchor a new art and theater corridor. The city pointed to a recent survey by Theatre Bay Area that found approximately 75
performing arts groups in the Bay Area are interested in expanding or
relocating to Central Market. Newsom’s administration hopes to lure them to the corridor by establishing a $11.5 million loan fund for commercial projects catered to artists and by providing assistance with identifying space,
feasibility studies, and other financing opportunities in
the arts district.

"Blick’s opening on Central Market and the weekly Arts Market at U.N.
Plaza are major new milestones in our efforts to foster the growing
cultural arts district in Central Market," Newsom said in a statement. "Blick and
the Arts Market will be cornerstones in attracting artists and arts
entrepreneurs to the area and continue its economic and physical
transformation."

The current initiative catalyzes several trials to bring art to Market Street storefronts that have been shuttered because of a down economy and is part of the broader Better Market Street Project, a joint effort by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, The DPW, The Planning Department, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which runs Muni. The Art in Storefronts trial combined with the People in Plazas concert series were instituted to fight the perception the neighborhood is dangerous and depressed and bring levity at a low cost. The trials also coincided with private automobile traffic diversions meant to speed Muni and improve safety for bicycle riders with separated green bike lanes and reduced traffic conflicts.

Lest the Better Market Street Project become merely a collection of interventions, the team has recently put out a request for queries (RFQ) to develop a broader vision for the transformation of the street, which will coincide with the scheduled repaving in late 2013 or 2014. The DPW is also coordinating a 15 person CAC to help the multi-agency collaborative liaise with the public and contribute to the visioning. The CAC will meet regularly for three years and will aim to promote interaction between the public and the city agencies as work progresses.

"The Better Market Street Project provides the City an opportunity to
enliven one of the most vital corridors in San Francisco through
comprehensive public realm improvements," said DPW project manager Kris Opbroek. "The formation of this
committee will help ensure broad participation and community feedback
throughout every stage of the Better Market Street Project."

The CAC is accepting applications until Tuesday, September 7th, and Streetsblog readers with a keen interest in shaping the future of the street should consider applying here.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Mayor Newsom, Caltrans Announce Plans to Remove Portions of I-280

|
A controlled explosion from the filming of the TV series "Trauma," on a closed portion of I-280 Mayor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced one of his most ambitious plans for re-shaping San Francisco, telling reporters at a press conference with Caltrans Director Will Kemption and Caltrain Director Michael Scanlan that the city would move forward with […]

The Clamor for a Better Market Street Grows Louder

|
A rendering of the 1900 unit Trinity Plaza development at Market and 8th Street As we reported last week, several city agencies have begun to look at ways to improve Market Street when it is repaved, including an inter-agency process spearheaded by DPW and the Planning Department.  Yet, we’ve still heard nothing from Mayor Gavin […]

SF Board of Supervisors Rules Committee Meeting

|
Schedule and agenda Of note: 2. 110294 [Confirming Appointment, Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors – Joél Ramos] Sponsor: Mayor Motion confirming the appointment of Joél Ramos to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, term ending March 1, 2015. 3. 110500 [Appointment, Pedistrian Safety Advisory Committee] Hearing to consider appointng one member, term ending March 28, 2012, […]

Mayor Newsom Unveils SF’s First Pavement to Parks Plaza

|
Supervisor Dufty and Mayor Newsom at the 17th St. plaza dedication cerimony, via Jamison on Flickr Standing before a crowd of more than 100 people, many of them city staff who had worked to realize the transformation of an underutilized street into a "Pavement to Parks" pedestrian refuge, Mayor Gavin Newsom dedicated the first of […]

Market Street Pilot is an Encouraging Move by Mayor Newsom

|
Photo: Arul Prasad Though much of the media reaction to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Better Market Street Project is narrowly focusing on the traffic impacts of mandatory right-turns at two intersections on Market, the trial project will attempt to do much more to improve the public realm and public perception of San Francisco’s most iconic street. […]