Friday, February 13, 2015

Reinstall the Castro's Newsracks? City Hall Hearing on 2/17 

Has it really been five-and-a-half years since I first called attention to the unsightly and mostly empty news rack pedmounts cluttering San Francisco's sidewalks, and pushed to have therm removed or their numbers greatly reduced?

Since then, the Department of Public Works' Newsrack Advisory Committee has resisted my lobbying to have the members hold their meetings during early evening hours instead of the first hour of a business day, and to also publicize the meetings to ensure community engagement.

I've finally won this battle against City Hall. DPW's newsrack program manager Cynthia Hoe shared this info today with me:

"This email is to inform you that a News Rack Advisory Committee Meeting has been scheduled for:

"Tuesday, February 17, 2015
5:30 PM
City Hall Rm. 416

"This meeting is to discuss and receive public comment regarding the reinstallation of pedmounts in the Castro." 

I know of only a handful of folks in the Castro who care about these pieces of street furniture that double as more intrusive corporate advertising on public property. 

To be honest, considering it's taken so many years to persuade DPW to hold a hearing at a convenient time, because of objections from the newspaper and publishing industries and their delivery truck drivers and ClearChannel which maintains the pedmounts, I know it's gonna take a few more citizens and activists to speak up to prevent the city from reinstalling pedmounts in the Castro.

If public space advocates are to reclaim a small portion of the municipal landscape in the gayborhood, which could lead to a consolidation or reduction of existing newsracks, we must lobby DPW's program manager. Send her an email today:

Hope to see you at the hearing on Tuesday.

Pedmount on 17th near the corner with Castro Street before the redesign of Jane Warner Plaza.

To expand the plaza's sidewalk, the newsrack was removed. As this "after" photo demonstrates, there's more needed space for pedestrians and folks in wheelchairs with the pedmount deleted. 

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