Monday, August 1, 2011

The Keys to Success in The Fillmore

The Fillmore's Heritage Center Complex
   Throughout the last decade, San Francisco has dumped millions of dollars and loads of community support around redevelopment of the lower Fillmore corridor. Although many businesses in the neighborhood are still seeing profits during this recession, the neighborhood is seeing, overall, only marginal growth and success. A San Francisco examiner article talks about why this area stutters with success.  
  I believe that once you remove an entire generation of residents from a community, and then attempt recolonize that same area with an entirely new type of occupant; is an exercise in futility. Gentrification issues aside, here are my reasons why this neighborhood continues to flounder.

1. The presence of the McDonald's at Filmore and Golden Gate only encourages loitering and drug activity. Why is there a drive-thru restaurant still located in one of our neighborhoods?
Rampant loitering by belligerent vagrants deters visitors and locals from venturing to the Fillmore. Close it down and build a mixed-use building in it's place.

2. Make the transit stops in this neighborhood more well lit at night.  I've crossed the street at Golden Gate in the evenings and have almost been hit by a car several times.  Trim the trees near transit stops to help make them more visible.

3. Retailers like Popeye's only perpetuate the stereotype that if you try and put healthy choices in less-desirable areas that they won't succeed. Insist on healthier food choices in this neighborhood.

4. Remove the fencing around all public and subsidized housing in the neighborhood. These create psychological barriers between residents and their community.  It also perpetuates a stereotype that this neighborhood is more dangerous than others.  Ever been to the Mission or the Tenderloin?

There are simple solutions to rectify the barriers we've created to a harmonious community fabric, we only have to take the path of least resistance.

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