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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Street Artists Block F-Market Stop

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:21 PM

click to enlarge Stop right there - PAULKIMO VIA FLICKR

It's less of a NIMBY case and more of a Not-In-My-Selling-Spot case. Street artists who've spent years selling art, caricatures, and photos to tourists near the Fort Mason waterfront are fighting the city's proposal to extend the F-Market and Wharves line to Fort Mason, arguing that it will hurt their business.

The artists claim that one of the proposed route stops would eat up 40 percent of the space where they currently do business. Seeing the economic concern, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency citizen subcommittee voted on Wednesday to support the artists' request to protect some 30 city-licensed selling spots on Beach Street between Larkin and Hyde streets.

Although the artists were able to convince the subcommittee to move the bus stop away from their businesses, the artists will now have to persuade the MTA Citizen Advisory Committee, the MTA, and National Park officials.

Artist James Millard gathered about 180 signatures, calling on the SFMTA to move the stop farther down the block, between Larkin and Polk streets. At the meeting Wednesday, Millard said that it's not just about art -- it's also about traffic. He argued that the new stop will further clog an already-congested corridor.

The resolution is set for review from the full CAC at a meeting on Oct. 6, after which the relocation could be recommended to the MTA.

"It's hard to say what will happen, especially since this is a council I've never dealt with before," Millard says. "But it was important that we won in this subcommittee. We're gonna have those people talking on our side at the full CAC, which will be an asset."

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Ellen Huet

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