Written up yesterday at sfgate by Rachel Gordon and also well covered over at streetsblog SF, Cesar Chavez St. in San Francisco is getting a facelift. Actually, it’s more than a facelift, it’s a pretty major redesign of the street and traffic flow that will make the street much more pedestrian friendly (given the existing layout, pretty much anything would make it more pedestrian friendly). With work scheduled to start in a few months, the number of traffic lanes will drop from 6 to 4, a 14′ median will be added to the middle of the street, sidewalks will get corner bulbs, trees will be planted, bicyclists will get bike lanes, planters will be watered with stormwater runoff (um, cool but is this really good for plants?), and better lighting will be installed as well.
Below are a few pictures from one of the community design workshops sponsored by the SF planning department about the project (all said, they’ve spent two years gathering community input and feedback). Neighborhood group CC puede started lobbying back in 2005 for changes to make Cesar Chavez aÂ livableÂ street. Â Be sure to check out their website, particularly the old photos they have of what was once Army street. The 1936 photo blew my mind!
The current Cesar Chavez layout was configured to be a high-capacity funnel to the freeways, and this redesign will certainly take the street back from the 1950’s idea of urban planning and replace it was something much more beautiful and neighborhood friendly.
The project is projected to cost just shy of $30 million, and is being paid for with a combination of city, state and federal funds. Work will begin later this year, and if all goes well the surgery should be completed sometime in 2013.