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Fisherman's Wharf to SF: You Never Write, You Don't Call, Don't You Care Anymore?

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Most San Franciscans don't visit Fisherman's Wharf. Unless there are relatives coming from Kansas, we pretty much avoid the T-shirt shops and the legendarily mediocre seafood restaurants (can they really be that bad?) Few of us buy seafood there, although it's possible to get local salmon and crab right off the boat, a reminder of when "Fisherman's Wharf" was actually pescatarian. In 2008, well before Larry Ellison re-captured the America's Cup, the Planning Commission launched the Fishermen's Wharf Public Realm Project, and last month, after years of quietly beavering away, the Commission released the first important document- the Fisherman's Wharf Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (.PDF) and you have until May 20th to comment (email, letter, semaphore) to the Commission. With the America's Cup looming like a fast-moving fog bank, progress along here is even more urgent. The goals set out are classic, of course:

? the following elements are proposed in the FWPRP’s: (1) design framework, (2) plan?policies, (3) minor zoning changes, (3) parking signage program, (4) passenger and freight loading management, (5) neighborhood gateway treatments (6) nine site?specific streetscape improvement projects and (7) three open space improvement projects.And while the Negative Declaration is a huge document, it's also broken up into easily digestible components for different levels of planning geekery, plus aerial views, enabling every one of us to micromanage our favorite block. Highlights? the plan re-thinks bikes in the area and their relationship to both pedestrians and traffic, noting that one of the biggest issues is bike parking and sidewalk cycling. Columbus Avenue gets shortened to form a new plaza around Joseph Conrad Park. Parking everywhere gets re-thunk, including the usual suspects, smart parking and bulb-outs, plus a new wrinkle- the pavement of planters between parallel parking spots. Jefferson Street gets reinvented, including the closure of the parking lot between Aquatic Park and the beach and redesigning the area around the Maritime Museum.

Engage your inner civic duty- read the thing and comment to the planning commission before May 20th.
Neil Hrushowy , Project Manager
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone: (415) 558-6471

· Fisherman's Wharf Public Realm Project [SFPD]
· Fisherman's Wharf Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (.PDF) [SFPD]
· San Francisco Maritime National Park [NPS]
· California's Living New Deal [UC Berkeley]
· A-Cup: Remaking the Waterfront Curbed SF Archives]