The Great Streets Project
We launched this short-term campaign in 2009 to catalyze the return of San Francisco streets to their rightful place as the center of civic life. This project led the charge to get ideas quickly on the ground by engaging government, business and neighborhood decision makers. Some of the key successes include; the Market Street trials which tested out ideas to improve San Francisco's busiest biking street in anticipation of the street's reconstruction in 2015, new parklets, and Sunday Streets.
Always intended to be a three-year campaign, we wrapped up the campaign in the summer of 2012, confident that the legacy of new partnerships, demonstration projects, and reinvigorated interest in San Francisco's streets we leave behind will continue to inspire the SF Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco neighborhoods, businesses, and our City's leadership to strive to achieve or vision for a city of great streets.
San Francisco’s streets should attract people of all kinds to its network of great places connected by excellent sidewalks, bikeways and public transportation. Specifically, streets should be safe, accessible, and compelling public spaces that build community and create a foundation as the center of civic life. A successful network of places will return our city’s streets to their rightful place as the center of civic life, making our city a great place to live, do business, and visit.
Inspired by the NYC Streets Renaissance, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition launched a short-term campaign that utilizes a placemaking approach to help citizens convert their public spaces into centers of civic life.
Market Street Trials
The Great Streets Project helped launch the successful car restrictions on Market Street at Sixth and 10th Streets that help calm traffic on the busy corridor. Read more about the our Market Street campaign.
Pavement to Parks & Parklets
San Francisco’s streets and public rights-of-way make up fully 25% of the city’s land area, more space even than is found in all of the city’s parks. The Great Streets Project supported the launch of a new city program to transform unused portions of that right of way into active and attractive public spaces. In partnership with the Pavement to Parks program and business and community associations like the Castro CBD, Union Square BID, and Yerba Buena CBD, we built public support for new plazas and evaluated pilot projects to demonstrate their popularity and use.
The San Francisco parklet program is a hugely successful community-driven initiative, satisfying the widespread demand for more green and community space, better business and more comfortable streets. Spearheaded by the Planning Department’s Pavement to Parks Program, over 20 parklets have been built in San Francisco since March 2010 – and that number continues to grow. The Great Streets Project has been proud to be part of this successful campaign through conducting community outreach and awareness, researching the impacts of parklets in San Francisco, and creating resources for other cities and organizations interested in creating a similar program. For more information please visit ourparklets page.
Placemaking InitiativesMission Community Market Public Space Management Best Practices
Resources for D-I-Y Great Streets
Parklet Permit - This parklet permit allows businesses, residents, and neighborhood groups to create parklets in their neighborhood. Visit sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org for application information.
Block Parties - Throw your neighborhood’s next block party using our Tips and Tricks for Throwing a Block Party. This guide clarifies and simplifies the process for putting on a block party in San Francisco, making it more accessible to communities less familiar with the San Francisco’s official permitting process. Also available in Spanish.
SFBetterStreets.org - One of the widespread obstacles for grassroots efforts to implement streetscape improvements is simply the lack of information as to what is possible and how to go about it. The City, through its Better Streets Plan team created Sfbetterstreets.org, a one-stop-shop web portal for all street improvements for citizens, developers, and city staff to easily find and use tools already available for improving streets.
Evaluation methodology -Have a public space project or improvement you want to evaluate? Use our "http://sfgreatstreets.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2-Counts-Data-Sheets.doc">templates for collecting and evaluating data on public spaces and pedestrian activity to help you evaluate your pilot project.