Sustaining our Communities
The energy and passion that our streets breathe into the lives of San Francisco are what define our home. Global cities have long recognized that streets are about much more than driving; they sustain our communities. Whether spending time with neighbors, grabbing food on the way home, or playing a pickup game of soccer, our streets embody our neighborhoods—and our San Francisco way of life.
“If a street has a spirit, no matter how narrow it is, we can breathe comfortably over there.”
— Mehmet Murat ildan
For a world-class city, San Francisco has one of the lowest commercial to residential ratios in the world. This means further distances to travel to get a loaf of bread or fresh seafood.
Duboce Market Halls
A New Vibrant District
Grand cities have grand, vibrant spaces to gather. At the nexus of 10 transit lines, less than two blocks from Duboce Park, lies the historic San Francisco Central Farmer's Market site. In conjunction with the Grand SF proposal to redevelop Church Station as a powerful new transportation hub, let's create the largest permanent market and food district in the United States.
An interior marketplace with room for over 500 independent stands. Prepared food vendors line the perimeter with covered and open-air seating, surrounded by space for music, performance, and art. Pedestrian-only streets flank the surroundings, with new housing, underground transit, and public-facing retail throughout the market district.
Reclaiming Reservoir Street, augmenting district streets, focused transportation, and a network of low-cost spaces for local and regional farms, fishers, traders, chefs, bakers, artists, merchants, and artisans to sell their products to San Franciscans. Now that's a world-class market district.
Paseos de San Francisco
Global cities have long recognized that streets are about much more than driving; they sustain our communities. In San Francisco, we have a surprisingly low ratio of public plazas, pedestrian zones, and shared spaces when compared internationally. Instead, we continue to promote dangerously high speed traffic, leading to over 60 pedestrian accidents each month—and three deaths—making San Francisco one of the most dangerous cities for walking in the nation.
We start by establishing a clear network of primary arteries, which largely already exist. These streets maintain higher-speed (but no faster than 30mph) traffic, with strong pedestrian protections and barriers, dedicated cycletracks, and frequently transit-only lanes, minimizing conflicts between vehicles and people.
Streets like Market, Columbus, or Mission have a life and culture that transcends their neighborhoods and are emblematic of San Francisco's vitality. Paseo Grande are multi-use boulevards with large sidewalks, no through private vehicle traffic, and lower speed mobility on the surface level.
Neighborhood streets with higher foot traffic, and frequently commercial activity, are designated as paseo barrio. These shared zones are people-focused, and may be pedestrian-only, or shared with low-speed bikes, transit, or delivery vehicles.
Residential streets, or the vast majority of streets in San Francisco, are designated as paseo pueblo. These 9 mph shared zones are people-focused, and allow for the use of streets by everyone (families, kids, even animals) with little fear of accidents.
We have a grand opportunity to fundamentally shift how we view our streets in San Francisco. In conjunction with a commitment to World-Class Transit, it's time to reclaim streets for socializing, playing, shopping, or even exercising, while reducing overall congestion, noise, pollution, and injuries.
Kickstarting Small Business
Lowering the barrier to creating a new business is vital to allowing anyone, not just those who already have money, to take a risk and start a business of their own. Every San Franciscan with a skill, a passion, or a dream should be able to try their hand at running a business—and being their own boss.
Marklets is a uniquely San Francisco small business incubation program. Through a partnership with the city and a low-cost monthly fee, small businesses can get off the ground with very little overhead. Through a simple revenue model, the city shares a percentage of the business revenue to cover the costs of the program, reinvest in the program for expansion, and to positively impact the surrounding neighborhood. A successful business can choose to grow out of the program into their own permanent space in the city.
Marklets can create vibrancy in underserved neighborhoods, without major infrastructure shifts. Someone who bakes can sell their bread to their neighbors, without the high cost of maintaining an expensive lease.