Showing posts with label san fransicso mess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san fransicso mess. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Market Street Blues

I recently spent a week in a hotel on Market Street in San Francisco. Market is easily the busiest street in San Francisco and features retail, hotels, theaters, and a whopping 3 levels of public transportation stacked on top of one another. You have trolleys and buses at the ground level, a light rail subway below that, and if that wasn't enough you also have a BART line below the subway system. In addition, every light rail and BART line has multiple stops along market.

Naturally I assumed that this would be the place to be in SF. I envisioned nice walks with my wife to late night restaurants and bars with lot's to see and do. What a tremendous disappointment! This has to be the most inconsistent street in the world. You can be walking outside of Bloomingdales on one block and a porn megaplex in the next. Much of the retail spaces were vacant, far more than in the streets of downtown San Jose. Few places were open past 10pm besides Burger King, and most of the street is a homeless encampment (smells exactly like you would expect a homeless encampment to smell as well). Also unlike San Jose, the homeless people are very agressive and will sometimes follow you.

I have never seen a live robbery in my life, and yet during this week I saw two. First I saw someone steal a teenager's iPhone while waiting for the subway, then I saw a small group of people stealing a BMW's wheels while I was looking for parking (a nightmare in and of itself). What the heck SF? Market Street should be the nicest in the city. It's access by public transit rivals every other street I've been to besides a few in Tokyo. Market St. should be a showcase of everything San Francisco has to offer, not a sprawling homeless shelter.

We should try to learn from whatever mistakes were made leading to this Market Street cluster-mess. That way, when BART strolls through Santa Clara Street in the year 2087, we can provide an enjoyable experience to our residents and visitors!