Nov 17, 2023 - News

Plans for the Tenderloin's pedestrian oasis move forward

A rendering of the Golden Gate Greenway. Photo: Courtesy of Golden Gate Greenway

Plans for a pedestrian oasis in the Tenderloin are moving forward following city approval to spend more than $1 million on the project.

Why it matters: The Tenderloin has few green spaces and the neighborhood has also seen a high share of traffic injuries.

Driving the news: The San Francisco County Transportation Authority this week approved the plan to design and build the Golden Gate Greenway in the Tenderloin.

  • As part of the plan, the city would remove one of the two lanes of vehicle traffic on the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue.
  • Per the plan, the greenway would feature areas for play, seating, and greenery on both sides of the street, and a bike lane.
  • The funds come from Prop L, a 2022 ballot measure that allocated money from a sales tax increase for transit-related improvements.

The big picture: The Tenderloin has just 12 acres of park space, and less than one acre of open space for every 1,000 people in the neighborhood, compared to the citywide rate of nearly seven acres for every 1,000 residents, according to the Trust for Public Land.

Flashback: A version of the Golden Gate Greenway was in place during the pandemic to enable businesses to operate outdoors.

  • St. Anthony's and other community members have been pushing since May 2021 for the block to be closed permanently to street traffic.

What they're saying: "The Golden Gate Greenway is a true community effort to transform a congested street into a safe recreation space in the heart of the Tenderloin for children, seniors, and people of all ages and abilities," Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Tenderloin, said in a press release.

  • The "path forward for the completion of this Greenway is overdue," Nils Behnke, CEO of the Tenderloin-based St. Anthony Foundation, added in the release.

What to watch: There's no stated timeline for completion, but the design funds of $100,000 are slated for fiscal year 2024, while the $1 million for construction is slated for fiscal year 2025.

  • The city's transportation and fire departments plan to work with community stakeholders on a project timeline in early January, according to Preston's office.
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