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SF seeks talented artist to beautify this ugly pedestrian bridge

The Havelock Street pedestrian bridge | Courtesy Google Street View

The Mission may be the neighborhood most closely associated with murals, but the area around City College of San Francisco has a thriving culture of street art as well. Neighbors and students know the humongous Ocean Avenue sign well, although Diego Rivera’s famous Pan American Unity, which belongs to the college, is currently at SFMOMA.

But the neighborhood is looking for at least one more. The city’s Department of Public Works tweeted Monday night that it’s looking for someone to execute an already-designed mural on the Havelock Street pedestrian bridge, which crosses Interstate 280 immediately north of Balboa Park and connects that neighborhood with Circular Avenue in Sunnyside and the campus beyond.

The current footbridge could use some love. As is, it’s a highway-spanning, chain-link conduit with all the charm of a zoo enclosure for a particularly feral animal. This development comes mere days after the city announced renovation plans for another concrete bridge.

The Havelock Street pedestrian bridge | Courtesy Google Street View

The Standard reached out to Public Works to learn what this design might be, and whether it would adorn only the sides of the bridge or be visible to pedestrians crossing the freeway, too. The department is partnering with Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who represents the area. A conference on the design will be held Friday, with applications due on Feb. 22.

Melgar told The Standard she is happy the project is moving forward but said the mural is “one of many things that are needed to make this bridge attractive, functional and safe.”

The winning muralist’s work has the potential to be seen by a lot of people. In addition to its proximity to the I-280, Balboa Park BART and the J-Church Muni line, Havelock Street is an important connector, enabling bike travel to Noe Valley and the Mission by way of a planned Slow Street on Cayuga Avenue.