Well, at least indirectly. The city of San Francisco has agreed to close Howard Street between Third and Fourth Streets at the request of the Oracle OpenWorld Conference. The closure will take place from October 19th through October 28th. While I understand that the conference brings in millions of dollars for the city, is it really worth the traffic nightmare that this will create?

Steve Jobs could see this as an act of defiance by Larry and decide that Howard Street *must* be closed for Macworld. Then Bill Gates may follow suit and decide that a closure is in order for the next Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in San Francisco! And hey, once the precedent is set, the city will need to have good reason not to do it again. I hope they are charging Larry a lot of moolah for this inconvenience.

I think that this closure couldn’t come at a worse time. The new Bloomingdale’s just opened which has increased traffic Mission Street, where the new entrance to the mall is located. If Howard street is closed, the closest alternatives are Mission and Harrison Streets. The redirected traffic will cause gridlock to worsen on Mission, which is already pretty bad with shopping traffic, and on Harrison, which already sees afternoon 101 Highway access traffic. It’s already insane!

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and if public outcry is enough to keep the city from closing down Howard Street again, at any price.

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