The fact that the actual density of businesses is pretty low as you walk around Shattuck and Ashby probably also has something to do with it.
Today I met old college peeps in Daly City, and was struck again that it somehow looks dense and pretty yet dead. Dense and pretty: wall to wall two story buildings, going up the hills, in various colors. Dead became clearer: wide streets and hardly anyone walking around. Even where there were businesses there still weren't many pedestrians.
Also it's a quiet town where my driving instructor took me to practice driving. But today... "where are all the people?"
See the DW comments at https://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/523078.html#comments