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Make Your Street a “Play Street”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

San Francisco has nearly 1,000 miles of street space. Most of the time, those streets are reserved for cars moving people and goods around.

However, it’s important to remember that our streets are a public good and could be considered for alternate uses, like creating a space for community.

When you think about turning a street into a community space, you might think of Sunday Streets, a festival or a neighborhood block party. But what if there was another way to create smaller scale, car-free spaces where neighbors can socialize and kids play on a more frequent basis?

To answer that, we piloted a new city program called Play Streets in 2017. Play Streets allows residents and community organizations to temporarily close down city streets to provide a safe place for children, families and neighbors to come together, play and get active.

In its first year alone, neighbors and community organizations created popular Play Streets events in the Western Addition, the Mission, Bayview, and Visitacion Valley.

Get Your Own Play Street – Learn More at a Play Streets Bootcamp, Starting Sat., May 19

Now in its second year, Play Streets is expanding! We’re inviting all members of the public to apply and create their own Play Streets this summer or fall.

The first step is to register and attend a Play Streets “bootcamp” hosted by our partners at Livable City. Attendance at one of these bootcamps is necessary if you want to apply for a Play Street!

Here, participants will learn the essentials of how to create a successful Play Street, from organizing your neighbors to obtaining a temporary street closure permit.

The first bootcamp is around the corner on Saturday, May 19 and more sessions will follow in June and July. After you finish the bootcamp, you can submit your application for the Play Streets program to review. If approved, you can gather your neighbors, close your street and enjoy your very own Play Street!

A Play Streets event on Jamestown Ave.

People who live in a San Francisco “Community of Concern”, or community-based organizations supporting one, can also apply for additional support from Livable City.

Play Streets is sponsored by the SFMTA, along with our partners at the Department of Public Health, the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, the Planning Department and the nonprofit, Livable City.