For Park(ing) day 2017, INTERSTICE Architects created an interactive Park(ing) Day installation on Polk Street at Hemlock Alley. Visitors experienced the wind-activated Mirrored Mylar Forest to explore questions of pedestrian safety and share their experiences of being a San Francisco pedestrian. Which spaces are prioritized for pedestrians? Where is there room for improvement?
Recording individual experiences as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver, the public was asked to register their information directly onto the installation surface. An enlarged a map of the Polk Street Corridor [built from data collected from the California Highway Patrol & highlighting pedestrian-related traffic incidents] created the “ground” for discussion. This interactive pedestrian Park(ing) map evolved throughout the day as a palimpsest that visitors could walk through – orienting themselves within the parking space, the neighborhood, and the city streets.
The installation was inspired by the Polk Streetscape Improvements recently underway and INTERSTICE’s collaboration as part of an initiative to enrich The Lower Polk Alleyways District. The new Lower Polk Alleyways Vision Plan (LPADVP) recently adopted by the Lower Polk Neighbors, proposes a future vision for the 12 blocks of alleyways located within the boundaries of the Lower Polk Neighborhood. INTERSTICE Architects guided this community-driven process which has resulted in a unique community-initiated set of strategies and guidelines designed to understand these alleyways, not as singular back-streets or isolated funding opportunities, but instead to consider them as a whole – as a District.