Using maps and pictures is a great way to tell a story and deliver a message. For Tuesday's Coffee Hour at I-Hotel, most of our groups chose the method of showing the seniors maps and pictures along Kearny Street. Maps are a good way to tell them the location of where we are focusing on, but not all of the seniors actually know where we are talking about when we tell them a street's name. However, when we showed them a picture of, for instance, the intersection of Kearny and Clay, then they know where we are talking about. Most seniors who live in I-Hotel only walk around in that certain area, so they actually don't know much about traffic/pedestrian safety on intersections of Kearny at Sacramento and Clay, which are somewhat further away from Jackson, when compared to Washington and Pacific which are one street away from Jackson. When asked, most of the seniors talked about issues around the area of Jackson Street because they live around there and they walk there the most.
During the interview, seniors said that there are too much cars along Kearny street and that the cars usually drive too fast. One senior said that the intersections at Clay and Washington along Kearny street is the most dangerous. At those corners, many cars make either a left or right turn and they are usually close to the pedestrians. It is also because many seniors walk around that area which is considered their "living room", Pourtsmouth Square. Seniors are more favored to walk more with more time provided rather than walk less with lesser time. They would prefer to increase the countdown time signal rather than adding a bulb-out to make the sidewalks wider. After the coffee hour with the seniors living in I-Hotel, now we have some suggestions on what we can do to make Chinatown, specifically along Kearny Street, a more senior-friendly and safer environment for people to live in.
- Shirley Tsang