Plans for the Tenderloin's pedestrian oasis move forward
Plans for a pedestrian oasis in the Tenderloin are moving forward following city approval to spend more than $1 million on the project.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, the area has struggled over the years with homelessness and drug abuse.
- District 5, which includes the Tenderloin, had the third-highest number of unhoused people, 287, on a single night in February, per the 2022 point-in-time homeless count.
- From January through October 2023, the Tenderloin has been home to 22% of all accidental overdoses in the city, according to the city's medical examiner's office.
Flashback: A version of the Golden Gate Greenway was in place during the pandemic to enable businesses to operate outdoors.
- The block evolved into a neighborhood gathering space with voter registration drives, pop-up play areas for children, and more, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
- 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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