Two weeks ago, the intersection of Clement Street and 3rd Avenue got an added splash of color, in the form of some bright red, brick-inspired crosswalks.
At least one local was curious about the change, so we decided to ask around about the origins of the new addition.
Funded by the office of District Supervisor Eric Mar, the distinctive crosswalks are part of a project to highlight tradition, community, and safety in the Richmond District.
"The red brick was based on a number of designs," Mar says, citing "the history and traditions of Clement Street" as a major influence. The color red, he explains, is considered lucky among Chinese Americans, who make up a large percentage of the neighborhood's population.
Another intention behind the new crosswalk coloring is to caution drivers to slow down, as the area is a popular corridor for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Additionally, the new crosswalks encourage residents to think about their community as a place, says Mar, referencing the Castro's rainbow strips and the Tenderloin's recent safety measures as examples. "If you come out [to Clement Street] on a Sunday afternoon, you can see how we're trying to get more use of public space, to build community and bring people together, and to also be more safe."
The same intersection welcomed a new mural by Jason Jagel back in May, as reported by the Richmond SF Blog. The mural was a collaboration between local business owners, Mar's office, and the SF Arts Commission. Other recent additions in the area include a parklet on the northwest corner of the intersection and a recently installed water station. These enhancements are part of a bigger plan to have more public art in the area, Mar says.
There are also future plans to make use of former bus zones in the area, including bike parking corrals, public benches, additional car parking, and possibly more parklets. The goal, Mar says, is "to create a more livable neighborhood, that's more walkable, safe, and vibrant."
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