Audi Avenue: Powell Street Promenade is a Big Fat Joke – A Series of Eight Parklets to Market Audi’s Cars

[During all of this Powell Street Promenade stuff, please remember:

"...the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame."

There will be a test later.]

[Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King just weighed in. Uh, John, the original plan was supposed to relieve "pedestrian congestion," as this recent design concept from Audi shows, but the current design won't do that. And "parklet" is a pejorative in this case. And those "abstract oars" you see are "inspired by" a 2012 Audi. Thusly:

The hockey stick behind the rear wheel - see it? That's where your oars came from.]

Get up to speed on the new Audi Avenue / Powell Street Promenade Project right here.

Let me tell you, the Powell Street Promenade in Union Square will look nothing like this:

Click to expand.

Instead, it will look like this, with aluminum grating and paddles and twisted things. See?

Are these tables? I think they’re tables:

We were promised no advertising, but you make the call:

“…like much of the promenade, the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame. While the twisting and sculpting of the metal is intended to reflect the dynamic styling of the luxury sedan…”

Is this why Audi owners make such bad drivers, generally, the boldness? (I’d call it hubris, frankly.) Anyway, let’s let Audi make the case:

“We believe that a boldly designed car, like the new Audi A7, deserves a boldly designed world. So today we’re breaking ground on an urban design initiative to re-imagine Powell Street in San Francisco.”

I’ll tell you, the last thing Audi drivers need is anything to do with boldness.

Oh, and Foursquare too: Audi Powell Street Promenade

This is the primary surface. Number one will pass right through, number two not so much:

Now, the original idea was to have a widened sidewalk but that would have caused issues with area hotels (like them suing the City and County for starters). So we’re going to get cutouts on both sides of both blocks. Thusly:

Here’s parklet eight of eight, near the Cable Car turnaround:

Now let’s thank Gaia that the aluminum hasn’t been arranged in interlocking rings to further advertise Audi and its million-dollar Audi Avenue. But there will be Audi’s name onsite and that’s too much, IMO. Oh well.

And I can’t think of any other carmaker that’s as closely associated with aluminum as Audi, so there’s that.

Was this marketing deal put out to bid, like maybe some other car companies might want to market their vehicles using the streets of San Francisco as well, right? Anyway, I don’t know.

Feel free to share your thoughts with SFGov – oh, whoops, comments be closed, just like the way they have it at BeyondChron, which is also financed with your taxpayer dollars.

All right, which particular Audi did the Powell Street Promenade draw its inspiration from? All together now, the A7! Get one today – starting price is merely $60K.

Hurray!

Lively SocketSite has some deets along with reaction from the commonweal.

SF Streetsblog

Progress on Powell 

[Earworm of the day: We're going rock down to-oo/ Audi Avenue.]

[UPDATE: And a commenter from FineInternets.com frets over the metal theft issue. I wonder how much this aluminum would be worth melted down. See comments.]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “Audi Avenue: Powell Street Promenade is a Big Fat Joke – A Series of Eight Parklets to Market Audi’s Cars”

  1. Jesse Mullan says:

    “Who stole all the aluminum grates and rings and stuff?”
    “Forget it, Jake, it’s the Tenderloin.”

  2. George says:

    These parklets eliminate needed parking spaces and substitute tables and chairs for coffeeshops and restaurants.

    In this instance, it is an outrageous ad for a corporation –– an automaker!

    Time for some heads to roll at Planning and DPW!

  3. Sameer Bhansaki says:

    Holy fugly. WTF are those things? I’d trip and end up with one of those impaled in my face.

    As an aside, Audis are rebadged Volkswagens and the “cheaper alternative” to BMWs and Mercedes’. The reason Audi owners drive like they do is that they want to show off about how much money they kinda-sorta have, but have a chip on their shoulders because they weren’t able to afford a real German sportscar.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    I don’t know, there are some expensive Audis out there.

    I drove a $500 1978 Audi 5000 all over Oahu one summer. Good times. Its engine was a VW Rabbit four-banger with an extra cylinder tacked on.

  5. Sameer Bhansaki says:

    Those old Audis are a different story! Some very real and awesome cars. At least we agree on something. :-)

  6. tofutart says:

    Who cares from where the inspiration comes. The Wall Street Journal was right in a recent survey. San Franciscans are the crankiest in the country. I know I’m from the Midwest, but can’t you guys enjoy anything that isn’t deep, meaningful or ironic? Someone had to pay for it, geesh!

  7. sfcitizen says:

    I don’t think somebody had to pay for it.

  8. Karl says:

    Just walked over on my lunch break to check it out and it looks really awkward and out of place. I just don’t understand why they would have skipped an opportunity to put in more greenery in favor of a bunch of cold, shiny glaring metal that already looks like it’s been trashed by a drunk homeless person. Those looped railings look really ridiculous. Could have been nice.

  9. sfcitizen says:

    I think Audi wanted even less wood and more metal.

    It’s got to looked “designed” and it’s got to be made of aluminum, for Audi’s sake.

    Some people have pointed out tripping hazards, but I haven’t seen that. Anyway, I’ll check it out again sometime.

    thx for commenting.

  10. I just don’t understand why they would have skipped an opportunity to put in more greenery in favor of a bunch of cold, shiny glaring metal that already looks like it’s been trashed by a drunk homeless person.

  11. JD says:

    Talking about what a piece of Sh** the Audi 100LS was is missing the point. The promenade is an UGLY design disaster and totally out of character with the street, period.

Leave a Reply