OBSERVESF.com          Art kiosks

Many unused kiosk-style newsstands now take up street space. Two sides of them carry advertising. The third side, facing the sidewalk, is a door, which formerly opened to a counter for a war veteran to sell newspapers from. The inside of the double-door held publications.

All the kiosks on Market Street are now currently vacant, since California and out-of-town papers no longer deliver to them.

It would be relatively simple to remove the doors and install a large LCD or HD TV screen behind vandal-proof glass. The TV's could be programmed from a single central location. Listings, art works, performance excerpts - even live - could be offered. 

The kiosks are controlled and serviced by JDDecaux, a French company which is the world’s largest street furniture (that’s what they call a kiosk) company. They sell advertising in return for providing some limited space for non-profits. 

The City is now stuck with many fancy billboards, obstructing the sidewalks with no value to pedestrians. 

It should be feasible to convince JDDecaux to convert the kiosks at no cost to The City or to the Arts organizations - providing a purpose and service to all concerned. 

And greatly increased value in terms of more eyes for more time.

An arts organization, such as SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts or the SOMA Cultural Coalition, should be retained to maintain the feed with the right to arts-cast to other locations --- such as the half-price ticket center at Union Sq., the Tourist Center at Hallidie Plaza, and all subscribing arts organizations. Cablecasting the feed on the public access channels could enhance that service.

The Arts feed should be commercial free. JDDecaux has the bulk of the kiosk for advertising.

The City needs high tech art information on major streets --- Here’s how!