The Tenderloin ExerTrail is an accessible, scalable, outdoor urban exercise path along Market Street in San Francisco. A painted sidewalk route will lead participants from one activity station to another, encouraging physical fitness and social connection while offering an artful sense of place.
The Tenderloin district in San Francisco is home to more than 25,000 people, including over 4,000 youth, making it one of the densest neighborhoods in the United States. Many Tenderloin residents live in Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) hotels, sharing common kitchen and bathroom facilities. These tiny rooms often measure less than 6' x 8' - that's smaller than most jail cells.
These dense, urban living conditions limit access to public spaces for exercising, socializing, and getting fresh air and sunshine.
It’s time to think outside the box! The Tenderloin can reclaim urban space along Market Street’s wide sidewalks to create a public, outdoor urban exercise path. The Tenderloin ExerTrail will feature simple, scalable physical activity stations, just like traditional fitness trails, and encourage collaboration and participation like team-building ropes courses.
Each exercise station will feature a different installation and activity. Examples include hopscotch ladders, painted labyrinths, raised bumps for jumping or hurdling, benches for pushups, and balance beams for building core muscles. Fitness experts will work with graphic designers and sculpture artists to create playful, imaginative, artistic activity stations that are as visually appealing as they are physically engaging.
Each activity station will display universal graphic instructions, along with suggestions for scaling to accommodate fitness and ability. Every sign will feature a ‘trail map’ along with highlighted facts about the surrounding area, history, and community. The Tenderloin ExerTrail will appeal to a broad range of participants including local residents and employees, out-of-town tourists, and our youth and seniors.
The Tenderloin ExerTrail project can be extended into the Tenderloin and other districts, connecting neighbors and neighborhoods. Painted routes between central locations and prominent landmarks can highlight San Francisco’s architecture, culture, and history, while indicating number of feet and miles walked for participants to track their progress.
During the design process, the project team will engage local residents and employees in 'design charrettes' to brainstorm ideas, discuss concerns, and produce a viable project plan. The project team has enlisted several fitness experts, graphic designers, and architects to assist with the development of a prototype plan, which will be provided to fabricators for completion by April 2015.
Once we're done, our team will produce an open-source Instructables How-To Guide for other communities to reproduce this project.
One: If you like this idea, please support us! Click 'Me too' to show your support and stay updated on our progress.
Two: Contact us if your company would like to sponsor an activity station.
(Three: Look for a fundraising page soon!)