S.F. streets may be overhauled

In a decade, The City’s streets will be more beautiful, provide more spots for socializing and be more functional than today — that’s if a plan to improve The City’s streets gets the green light, city officials say.

Part of the goal of the so-called Streetscape Master Plan is to make the streets drain better, allow sidewalks to get fixed faster and allow trees to grow where before there was only concrete.

Top brass from four city agencies Tuesday promised to band together in an effort to make the vision for a more walkable city a reality. The plan — pertaining to the sewers below city streets to the trains roaring above — also calls for sidewalks wide enough for strolling pedestrians.

“We have to think of streets differently,” Planning Director Dean Macris said. “There should be recreation and entertainment in the public sphere.”

The planning director said the idea was initiated by Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office. The mayor and Board of Supervisors are slated to consider a proposed plan and a capital program to implement it in about a year.

Director of Public Works Fred Abadi, Municipal Transportation Agency Director Nathaniel Ford and Tom Franza, assistant general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Wastewater, joined Macris to talk about the plan during a noontime forum.

The panel discussion at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association turned into a standing-room affair due to the high turnout.

A master plan is needed since The City lacks consistency and standards when it comes to its streets, said Tom Radulovich, executive director of the nonprofit Livable City.

Often when work is done to a street — the laying of new pavement or changes to a storm drain — it isn’t done at the same time or in conjunction with other related projects, Radulovich said.

“We need better designs, better pedestrian safety and lighting standards,” Radulovich said. “They [city agencies] are finally pulling together.”

The Planning Department, the Department of Public Works, the MTA and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will work together over the next nine months to one year to come up with the plan and how to pay for it.

“We’re talking millions and millions of dollars,” Macris said.

In 10 years, city residents will see streets that drain better than they do today, Franza said.

“We can rebuild the infrastructure to eliminate flooding,” Franza said.

Meanwhile, traffic will flow better once the plan is put into action, Ford said.

“It will be a much more harmonious environment” for bikes, cars, buses and pedestrians, Ford said.

“They won’t be impeding each other,” he said.

mcarroll@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mayor London Breed announces The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

The deYoung Museum will reopen to the public March 6 with an exhibition of works by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
de Young Museum to reopen with ‘Calder-Picasso’

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, The City’s museums and cultural institutions are reopening.… Continue reading

Hikers walk along a closed stretch of Twin Peaks Boulevard on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board to vote on future of Twin Peaks Boulevard

The proposal would keep Burnett Avenue gate closed to vehicles, open Portola Drive

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Klein collects crayons from students in the classroom at Lupine Hill Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Calabasas, California. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom, legislators strike deal to reopen California schools

Taryn Luna and John Myers Los Angeles Times Gov. Gavin Newsom and… Continue reading

Most Read