Sunday, December 07, 2014

Consolidate Castro's News Racks?

For a number of years, I've called for either deleting or consolidating all the empty news racks cluttering the Castro's public sidewalks. These pieces of street furniture are the domain of the Department of Public Works and its News Rack Program.

Now that the sidewalk expansion project is finally over, I've been in touch with DPW spokeswomen Rachel Gordon about the news rack that used to be on 17th Street between the Twin Peaks Bar and Jane Warner Plaza, pictured. It was serious impediment to pedestrians and public safety, so I was glad when it was deleted due to redesigning the plaza.

This photo was sent to Gordon, to her and DPW folks a clear idea of how improved the 17th Street sidewalk is now for pedestrians. Gordon replied:

I want to update you on status of news racks on Castro. No news racks will be reinstalled in the area until the issue has been discussed at a public meeting of the news rack advisory committee. 

Please contact program manager Cynthia Hoe directly to be added to the meeting notification list. I believe a meeting is coming up later this month. 

At Public Works, we want to make sure that any news racks that go back in will be properly maintained and used for publications. There may be an opportunity to consolidate the racks in the area; that is likely to be a topic of discussion at the advisory committee meeting.

I've emailed Hoe asking for info about her next meeting and I'll share the details once I receive them from DPW. Let's reduce the street furniture clutter on all of San Francisco's sidewalks to better meet the needs of citizens who walk, instead of putting corporations first and having them encroach on public space.

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