To Do for Class Day 11 (Tuesday 9/27/16)

You have three main tasks to complete before Tuesday: explore, read, write.

Warning: these will take longer than just a few minutes, so plan ahead & don’t do everything at the last minute.


Your task is a “space observation.” Walk, bike, or otherwise transport yourself to an outdoor location off-campus and carefully observe the space.

Here are some questions to get you started. You don’t need to answer each of these — they are suggestions to get you thinking:

  • What takes up space (objects, sound, contour)? Both moving and stationary objects take up space; also, sound can take up space. 
  • How is space shaped?
  • How are subspaces marked? Example: in the Panhandle, the shared path is paved, which marks it off from the grassy part. Also, the path itself is divided into two lanes by a painted stripe.
  • How do people (and other creatures) use space(s)?
  • What speeds happen in space?
  • What are you not seeing? What’s missing?

Places you could go (again, just suggestions… I invite you to explore on your own):

  • John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park — a big section of JFK is closed to auto traffic on Sundays, could be an interesting thing to see (and participate in)
  • Geary St. is one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors — early plans for the BART system imagined a line under Geary St, that would tunnel under the Golden Gate and connect to Marin
  • Fell St. or Oak St. east of Baker —  between Baker and Scott on Fell and Oak are some of SFs flagship separated bike lanes
  • the world-famous San Francisco “Wiggle” (Wikipedia page) (on Yelp)– the seven or eight blocks of the Wiggle are a great place to observe pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists obeying and not obeying traffic laws
  • Turk Street — on a clear day, you can stand in the middle of Turk St. at its crest and see the Farallon Islands to the west, 27 miles offshore, and Mt. Diablo, more than 30 miles to the east. But don’t stand there too long, because Turk St. traffic moves pretty quickly.
map showing Farallon islands to the west and Mt. Diablo to the east
From the Farallons to Mt. Diablo


Chris Carlsson, “I’m in a Hurry, so Slow Down!” (blog post/essay)

John Zimmer, “The Third Transportation Revolution” (blog post/essay)


Write a blog post discussing the arguments of Zimmer & Carlsson. Zimmer, as I mentioned in class, is a co-founder of Lyft. Carlsson is a San Francisco writer, activist, and co-founder of Critical Mass.

Your post should show that you are thinking about what ideas and positions these two authors share, and also where they differ.  You can also evaluate their points.

Your post should also include information about your spatial observation expedition.

If it makes sense to connect your observation to bicycles, please do.

Include a relevant image (photo, graph, chart…).

Due before class Tuesday September 27th.