Eyes on the Street: To Transform an Intersection, Just Add Color

Photo: Aaron Bialick
Preliminary concepts for Bartlett and 22nd proposed last year. Image: SF Planning

At the most recent Sunday Streets in the Mission, Walk SF demonstrated how a little chalk can give a sense of place to an intersection. Just holding back the cars allows the community to add its own flair through color, transforming an asphalt expanse into a calmer, more people-oriented space.

“It helps to calm traffic. It signals to drivers that there’s a community here, to expect kids, to expect families, and to slow down,” executive director Nicole Schneider said on a car-free Valencia Street at 22nd Street. “It helps to bring the community together around a sense of place.”

Schneider’s chalk demo was just a short block away from the intersection of 22nd and Bartlett Street, where SF’s first permanently-painted intersection is set to arrive sometime next year, as part of a pedestrian-friendly revamp of Bartlett. Community-designed, painted intersections have been installed in recent years in cities like Portland and Seattle, Schneider noted.

People at the event asked Schneider whether cars can still drive over the murals — the answer is yes. So the murals shouldn’t result in a political furor, unlike many other suggestions to re-purpose any space that’s used to move and store cars. Painting the streets to create a safer and more convivial place seems like a low-cost no-brainer.

“I have gotten so much positive feedback,” said Schneider. “It’s just fun.”

A painted intersection in Portland. Photo: Jonathan Maus/Bike Portland

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

Caption Contest: A Bench for Adrenaline Junkies

|
A bench placed 4-feet from a 6-lane, 60 mph design speed #stroad with a high speed turning radius #UrbanZenpic.twitter.com/BRFglnvKN7 — Kostelec Planning (@KostelecPlan) February 25, 2016 It’s time for another caption contest! This oddly placed bench at the intersection of Patton Avenue (US74) and Florida Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina, offers the kind of view […]

This Week: A More Livable Mission/Valencia Intersection

|
At two overlapping meetings on Wednesday, the city will show final concepts for greener, more pedestrian-friendly streets at the intersection of Mission and Valencia Streets and on Holloway Avenue. Also this week: Folks For Polk and the SF Bicycle Coalition host brainstorming sessions for advocacy on Polk Street, SPUR talks ride-sharing, and Transportation Camp is […]

Cesar Chavez/101 Intersection – Bike Improvement Survey Ride

|
From SFBC: Come on this bike and walk survey of the area around the Cesar Chavez/Highway 101 intersection – commonly known as the Hairball – to come up with solutions for improving access. The Planning Department is planning improvements to this corridor in various stages from Sanchez Street to Illinois Street and has an initial […]