April 20, 2011

Food court, Twitter and the Folsom Street Project

Change is coming to Folsom Street whether we like it or not. The Eastern Neighborhoods Transportation Implementation┬áPlanning Study (EN TRIPS) program has identified it as one of the greatest opportunities to improve traffic flow in the eastern part of the city. Left to their own devices, I’m afraid what they’re talking about is increasing the number of cars on the street. In addition, the America’s Cup spectacle will invariably spill over into the South of Market area. Improving safety and quality of life are secondary concerns to the transportation consultants and planners.

In our community planning efforts, we’ve identified Folsom Street as the ceremonial center of the neighborhood. The Western SoMa Community Plan envisions Folsom as a neighborhood-serving street with two-way traffic, good transit service linking the community from the Embarcadero to the Mission and a neighborhood commercial corridor between 6th and 10th Street. Residents of the Valencia Street corridor organized a community effort to improve a street with many of the same characteristics as Folsom Street a few years ago and the “Valencia Street model” has served as a good example of how modest changes can dramatically improve pedestrian safety and commercial viability.

The SoMa Leadership Council has tried to stay ahead of events by first convening a meeting in February with a host of government agencies and community stakeholders to make it be known that we’d like an open and participatory process to plan our future and on April 20th we’ll meet again to sketch out a basic framework for a community process. Supervisor Jane Kim and many community leaders have been invited. Please forward this to anyone else you can think of who would be interested.

Agenda

  1. Announcements
  2. Introductions
  3. A brief presentation on plans to create an outdoor food court adjacent to Veterans Cab at 428 Eleventh Street
  4. Post-Twitter community oversight: Mid-Market Redevelopment PAC or a newly appointed Citizens Advisory Committee?
  5. Folsom Street Project: interest groups and neighborhood organizations … vision and values
  6. New business

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