We've come down to the final hours of the Stockton Street Winter Walk, the stretch of Stockton between Geary and Ellis Streets that was astroturfed into a pedestrian plaza from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Or are we? While the Winter Walk is definitely closing down tomorrow, the plaza might be return due to popular demand, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson says.
When we told you about the Stockton Street Winter Walk last month, my esteemed colleague Caleb Pershan mused "Who knows: if the plaza is a pedestrian hit, perhaps it could endure year-round?"
Some commenters on his report also seemed amenable to the idea, with one saying (edited for usage) "I accept this with open arms. The walk from Geary down Stockton to the Powell Muni/BART station is pretty much hell on earth...Stockton is a total clusterfuck with people bottlenecked into a sidewalk that is the width of a bike lane," and another saying "I think that many of the streets around Union Square should have been closed to traffic years ago. Why do people need to drive anywhere near a place that is so easy to walk around?!"
And now that the Winter Walk is winding down, it appears that Caleb and his commenters (would also be great band name, BTW) aren't the only ones who want the Walk to extend past the Winter.
"There's been a lot of feedback from people we've heard that have been a part of Winter Walk that do want this to stick around," SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose told KTVU.
"We love it! We are from Brazil and we're telling you, please keep it!" a Brazilian tourist told the broadcast station.
Of course, some say that closing the area can also cause problems. One SFist commenter noted that GPS systems don't seem to be aware of street closures, sending drivers to spots where they should not roam. That might be what happened to one delivery driver who spoke with KTVU, saying "Maybe it's a joy for people...it's unexpected is all I can say. I didn't know, or I wouldn't have gone this way."
But to others, GPS issues might be a small price to pay. For example, the manager of the Winter Walk Philz Coffee truck says, "To have a couple of blocks where people can just sit on the grass and enjoy a cup of coffee or some food; I think it's a beautiful thing!"
Or maybe not grass. For as SFist commenter omn requests, "Great concept, but if this becomes permanent, please pave it in cobblestone. Astroturf is too tacky."