Public Comment

New: Design is Not Telegraph's Problem

By Kirk Peterson
Tuesday March 05, 2013 - 07:46:00 PM

At last year's Telegraph Avenue Charette I reminded everyone at the beginning that the 'problem' with the Avenue's commerce is not design. We designers like to imagine that we can change the world, but the built environment generally expresses social/cultural reality with a real-time lag. Of course better lighting, street furniture, trees, etc. would be great, but nobody wants to countenance a big part of the short term solution - getting rid of certain types of people, and their behaviors. I've been visiting regularly Telegraph since the 60s, and it still works for me (I love used actual paper books) but we hear that the Telegraph Avenue 'brand' has a bad connotation. I propose no big solution: all I can contribute is thoughtful design. Perhaps when the anticipated construction of lots of new apartments reaches a critical mass, then a new mix of people will emerge, and a different 'vibe' will develop. The changes anticipated and promoted by the South Side Plan - which took a decade or so to be adopted - are just going to take time.