Kick Cars Out of Chinatown, Merchants Say

Grant Avenue, San Francisco's oldest thoroughfare, would be a lot more pleasant without cars, SFStreetsBlog quoted local merchants with a keen grasp of the obvious as saying.

Streetsblog reporter Michael Rhodes last weekend attended a Chinatown festival celebrating noodles. There, he found that the street had miraculously been made accessible to pedestrians, devoid of intermittently roaring and droning engine noise, free from smelly carcinogenic exhaust, and absent the constant fear of being maimed or killed at any moment by a 3,000-pound deadly weapon.

Festival organizers had accomplished this by temporarily blocking access to motor vehicles. Rhodes interviewed an event organizer who told him that eliminating fear, noise, and stench from the street attracted more humans, who spent money in the merchants' shops.

“I would venture to say that a permanent closure is now closer than ever before, since surrounding businesses themselves saw an increase in their revenue within [Sunday's] event,” Rhodes quoted event co-organizer Vivian Chang, senior planner with the Chinatown Community Development Center.

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