links below provide more information about the City Design
Center District Plan
The Planning Department has received funding
from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
a comprehensive plan for the area around the Transbay Transit
Center, including mechanisms to direct any increased development
value to help fund the construction of the Transit Center
Program. This Plan will build on the City’s renowned
1985 Downtown Plan that envisioned the area around the
Transbay Terminal as the heart of the new downtown. Consistent
with the Transbay Redevelopment Plan, which focuses mostly
on public properties south of the Transit Center along
Folsom Street, this new effort will focus on both private
properties and properties owned or to be owned by the Transbay
Joint Powers Authority around the Transit Center itself.
and King Street Railyards Study
The Planning Department has received funding from the San
Francisco County Transportation Authority to produce a study
and concept plan for air-rights development of the 4th/King
railyards, including explorations of how increased development
value can help fund public improvements, including additional
funding for completing the Caltrain Extension to downtown.
The railyards falls under multiple jurisdictions and property
owners. This study will identify and analyze all of the key
issues that are critical to consideration of building anything
over the railyards, including urban design, engineering,
open space, land use, circulation, implementation, finances,
and rail operations.
Better Streets Plan
Better Streets Plan will develop a single set of
standards to guide capital projects aimed at improving
street design. The goal of these standards will be to
improve the overall
aesthetic character, and ecological function of San Francisco’s
streets while maintaining safe and efficient use of the
streets by all modes of transportation. The Better Streets Plan will be drafted in conjunction with the Mayor's
Office, Public Works, Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
the Public Utilities Commission and San Francisco's Transportation
non-automobile oriented functions of San Francisco’s
streets have been neglected for many years, and the result
is a fragmented and largely
unattractive network of automobile dominated routes. The
City has strong streetscape policies in its General Plan,
including the Transit First policy, as well as numerous
design guidelines in the Urban Design Element. These policies
and sound ideas have not been transformed into streetscape
standards that are rigorously used to rebuild and maintain
Better Streets Plan will remedy the gap between policy
The Better Streets Plan will include an
extensive community involvement program to ensure San Francisco
residents have ample opportunity to help identify
the most pressing streetscape challenges and how best to
solve them. The City will solicit input from those
groups who have
special needs, such as the visually- and physically-impaired,
recognizing that street design has a larger impact on their
ability to move about the city. The City also will make
efforts to reach out to groups and individuals traditionally
underrepresented in community discussions,
such as the poor, recent immigrants, youth and families.
The goal will be to produce a plan truly representative
of the diverse needs of San Francisco residents.
Better Streets Plan web site
District Streetscape Plan
Planning Department has received a $745,000 grant from
the state of California to undertake a Mission Streetscape
Plan and to secure the environmental
for its adoption. A public process
will articulate a vision for better
street design and public spaces in the Mission District
in order to set a framework for future capital
goal of the Mission Streetscape Plan is to re-imagine
Mission District streets as vital public spaces that
serve the needs and priorities of the community. The
outcome will be designs for a system of neighborhood
streets stressing gracious, accessible, safe sidewalks;
closely planted street trees; pedestrian-scaled lights;
crosswalks; widened sidewalks at corners; comfortable
crossings; creative parking arrangements; bike paths
and routes; close and friendly integration of transit;
and roadways that accommodate automobile traffic but
encourage appropriate speeds. Once
approved, the plan will set out a roadmap for getting
the planned improvements built over time.
Cesar Chavez Street Design
Cesar Chavez Street Design Plan is a detailed design effort
to re-envision Cesar Chavez Street in the Mission District,
between Guerrero Street and Hampshire Street.
SoMa Transportation and Public Realm Plan
the past few years, new planning initiatives in Rincon
Hill, Transbay, Showplace Square, Mid-Market, SoMa, Market
and Octavia, and the C-3 Downtown Office District have
developed local land use programs and transportation
strategies. While each of these efforts has sought to
introduce controls and guidelines consistent with the
General Plan’s transportation objectives, they
primarily address the characteristics and needs of the
subareas that they cover. Other agencies, too, have developed
ideas for transit and other improvements in the area.
These all need to be brought into a cohesive whole.
Residential development in the study area
has driven the need to balance increased density with
the characteristics of a livable neighborhood that include
ease of moving about in all modes, and a gracious public
realm. Given that all of these planning subareas are
geographically linked and interdependent, there is a
need to explore and understand the key mobility issues
confronting the larger area, as well as to develop an
awareness of the common threads that tie the individual
a result of SoMa’s evolving residential
character and changing role in the city, the Planning
Department is in the preliminary stages of determining
the best approach to creating a neighborhood-wide transportation
and public realm plan. This process includes engaging
other City agencies in an effort to build the necessary
support for this large undertaking. The goal of the plan
would be to develop a robust set of public realm and
transit improvements that become the foundation for a
livable and sustainable urban mixed-use residential neighborhood.
Staff will continue to post updates
on the progress towards this goal.
The Urban Forest Plan will identify policies and strategies to proactively manage and grow the City’s street tree population. The goal of the Plan is to create an expanded, healthy and thriving urban forest now and for the future.
The Planning Department is working with the SFCTA, MTA
and other City departments to study physical improvements
to important transit routes. These improvements would
ensure that good pedestrian and design enhancements are
integral parts of efforts to make transit service faster
and more reliable in the Van Ness and Geary corridors.
Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit Study
Planning Department is participating with the San
Francisco County Transportation Authority, the MTA,
others on the Geary Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Study. The Planning Department is assisting with consultant
support in urban design, and in providing urban design
concepts and guidance for future improvements.
Geary Blvd. web site
Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study
Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study, is evaluating
alternatives for bus rapid transit on Van Ness Avenue.
include dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority,
pedestrian improvements, and transit platform improvements.
The Planning Department is partnering with the San
County Transportation Authority to provide urban
design concepts that will create a distinct design
and a generous pedestrian environment for the BRT line.
Van Ness Ave. web site
Planning Department is working with the Mayor’s
Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Department
of Public Works, and other agencies to make
improvements to neighborhood commercial corridors throughout
will focus on streetscape design and beautification,
economic revitalization, land use and development issues,
on-street parking and circulation, and building design
with the goal of improving the overall activity, economic
vibrancy and aesthetic quality of these corridors.
Planning Department has led a process to design
streetscape improvements to Leland Avenue, the neighborhood ‘main
street’ of Visitacion Valley. The Leland Avenue
project enhances the street’s aesthetic appeal
and will help to revitalize its commercial businesses.
with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce
Development, the Department of Public Works and others,
the Planning Department is involved in comprehensive
planning for lower Polk Street, including streetscape
improvements, economic development activities, and
other planning concerns. Public workshops took place
in Spring 2006.
Planning Department is participating in planning
and design efforts for Divisadero in concert with
economic development work led by the Mayor's Office
of Economic and Workforce Development. Public workshops
took place in Spring 2006.
Pavement to Parks
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. Many of our streets are excessively wide and contain large zones of wasted space, especially at intersections. San Francisco’s new “Pavement to Parks” projects seek to temporarily reclaim these unused swathes and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks. During the temporary closure, the success of these plazas will be evaluated to understand what adjustments need to be made in the short therm, and ultimately, whether the temporary closure should be a long term community investment. Three Pavement to Parks plazas will be constructed in the Spring and Summer of 2009 through an inter-agency partnership between the Planning Department, the Department of Public Works, the Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Mayor's Office of Greening. Please visit the project website for more information.
Pavement to Parks web site
San Jose Avenue
The Planning Department is working with Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval’s Office to design traffic calming and pedestrian improvements to a busy stretch of San Jose Avenue, between Highway 280 and Ocean Avenue. Design changes will improve pedestrian access to Glen Park BART, Balboa Park BART, Balboa Park and City College.
The Newcomb Avenue Model Block Streetscape Improvement Project is an innovative synthesis of community stewardship, agency collaboration, public realm enhancement, and environmental benefit. It will provide a valuable asset and a model for improvement to one of San Francisco’s most environmentally challenged neighborhoods. The street design will provide a repeating series of green areas, integrally connected to the overall streetscape design, and will include significant areas for stormwater management, increased permeable area, and a dense canopy of street trees along both block frontages. Large corner sidewalk extensions, raised pedestrian crosswalks, traffic chicanes, and stormwater planters are all included in the design. The improvements will beautify the block, create gathering places for the residents, and transform a barren strip of concrete into an urban oasis that functions with, instead of against, the natural functions of the landscape. The stormwater performance of the street in its existing condition has been gathered and will be compared to the stormwater performance post-improvemetns. It is anticipated that much of the rainwater that falls along this block of Newcomb will permeate into the ground instead of being conveyed to the combined sewer system.
Newcomb Streetscape Improvement Project web page