Martha Ketterer is a Landscape Architect for the Department of Public Works. She worked on the recent bulbout project at the Randolph Orizaba intersection in the OMI neighborhood and she is assisting our team with a proposed creative crosswalk project in theBroad/Randolph commercial corridor.
I am a San Francisco native. I grew up west of Twin Peaks. I attended UC Berkeley and have a degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. I was drawn to this profession because it is a great combination of artistic, creative, scientific, and technical aspects. One first meets with the community and understands their needs and then comes up with the concept or big idea. Then there is further community input. After that process, you build it which is technical. It is really beautiful when a project comes together seamlessly, everything interfaces well and the project shines. It becomes a focal point for the neighborhood and people start identifying with where they live and respecting the space.
How you get involved with Broad St?
I became involved through the City’s paving program which was part of the 2011 Bond. Randolph/Orizaba was an area that was identified as needed increased safety measures so we met with the community and talked with OEWD and created the bulbout design.
What do you think is unique about the neighborhood and what are some of its challenges?
This is a long established neighborhood with a mix of very old pre-earthquake architecture and a lot of 1950s-1970s architecture. It has a pleasant neighborhood feel and beautiful ocean views. Broad/Randolph is a neglected corridor perhaps because people see it more as a thoroughfare than a residential area. The architectural stock is generally unremarkable and there is no dominant structure so the streetscape features need to be more dominant. Trees have been planted but they are still small and need time to become established. With the Orizaba/Randolph bulbout design, we tried to soften the presentation of the large residential structure whose side faces the intersection. We installed grasses that would move in the wind and reflect the wave quality of the banners on Ocean Avenue.
What have you learned so far working with this community?
The more interaction with the community the better. There haven’t been a lot of improvements in this neighborhood so the community hasn’t had as much experience with this process. The more community support and eyes on the project, the more people feel a sense of ownership and the more likely they are to take care of the space.
What is your favorite thing about living in San Francisco?
San Francisco is full of dynamic energy. You can easily be transported into different spaces. The city offers the opportunity to engage on many different levels. It is also very beautiful because of the topography.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I am an avid fine art photographer. I take classes and participate in exhibitions. It is a hobby that can be useful in my professional role as well.