Closing off middle of Clementina to cars – a bold, needed change
|July 15, 2012||Posted by jamie under Open Spaces, Transportation & Ped Safety||
One of the ideas presented for Oscar Park is to keep the park’s walking area between Folsom Street and Tehama Street uninterrupted by cars on Clementina Street by closing off that small section of Clementina Street to vehicles and implementing 2-way lanes on Clementina which would require removing some (all?) street parking between 1st and 2nd Streets.
While this certainly would interrupt those residents who use Clementina to go from 2nd Street to 1st Street to their homes on Guy Place, Lansing, or otherwise hemmed in by the weekday traffic congestion along 1st Street, I gotta think the greater good here would be to push this bold idea forward for the betterment of the park. We need to envision how to keep the new businesses thriving that will open up along Folsom Street as our segment of SoMa’s commercial corridor, and helping pedestrians to move through Oscar Park down to Folsom Street is one way to help. Right now, the biggest weakness in our unusual “Mixed Use” part of town is that the retail businesses do not really have a commercial corridor like a Fillmore Street or 24th Street – they are dispersed all over the place, and kinda live or die based on the demand for their product or service alone rather than uniting on blocks with other businesses and leveraging foot traffic. We desperately need a commercial corridor if we want SoMa to become a complete neighborhood instead of a drive-thru freeway ramp.
In regards to traffic congestion, I believe we HAVE to start pushing our politicians to implement weekday evening, outbound-only congestion pricing, especially as they consider a 21,000 seat arena out on Rincon Point’s Piers 30-32.
Here are a couple of related videos on this topic. First, a clip about Munich, Germany removing car traffic and opening it up to pedestrians and bicyclists only. The second is a video about congestion pricing from the SFCTA.