Street Artists Fight Expansion of F-Market Streetcar

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Oct 1, 2011  |  Updated 7:19 AM PDT
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SF Condo with Wraparound Terrace Hits Market

Brian Kusler

Trains such as these won't go to Fort Mason without a fight.

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More transportation generally means more money for San Francisco's local businesses -- but not when the transportation threatens to move them off of their sidewalks.

A group of sidewalk artists and merchants operating near Fort Mason are fighting the planned expansion of the F-Market streetcar line, saying extending the train to Fort Mason will destroy their business, according to SF Weekly.

The proposed F-Market stop is on Beach Street between Larkin and Hyde streets. That's where about 30 merchants have stalls and shops, according to the newspaper. The artists want the stop moved further down the block, near Larkin and Polk streets, says James Millard, an artist who collected 180 signatures.

Proponents of the F-Market, like the nonprofit Market Street Railway, say that the proposed stop actually helps the artists: if the artists were to move their stalls just a few feet closer to the nearby park, they'd benefit from foot traffic from the F-Market passengers dropped off almost directly next to their stalls.

But before anything happens, the plan must be vetted by a broad collection of committees at the SFMTA and elsewhere. This train has barely left the station, so to speak.
 

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