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New Chapter for Community Green Space in the Tenderloin

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Image shows a person using a crosswalk in front of barricades that block off the street for the Golden Gate GreenwayThe Golden Gate Greenway taking shape in the Tenderloin.

An expanded community green space on Golden Gate Avenue between Leavenworth and Jones streets will remain in place for another year. 

The SFMTA Board of Directors approved the extension at its Jan. 16 meeting. For another year, residents and visitors will be able to easily access:  

  • Free community services and activities 

  • Additional recreational green space 

The Golden Gate Greenway community space opened in April 2020. It started as part of the multi-agency, pandemic-era Roadway Shared Spaces program. The goal: provide accessible essential services and more safe gathering space in the Tenderloin. The St. Anthony Foundation applied for a permit through the program to temporarily close the roadway of the 100 block of Golden Gate Ave. every day for nine hours, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Last April, the Shared Spaces program was made permanent, and the hours of the street closure were extended to 6 p.m. The Board’s latest vote extends that daily street closure into the beginning of 2025 and maintains this safe green space for the entire community. 

The Tenderloin is home to more than 30,000 people, including 3,500 children. But it’s also one of the city's densest neighborhoods with minimal space for playgrounds, sports and relaxation. Additionally, most neighborhood streets are on the SFMTA’s High Injury Network. We are addressing these issues with new street designs and calming treatments. Finally, a high number of individuals experiencing housing insecurity or in need of supportive services also live in the area. 

Image features a bike lane on Golden Gate Ave. The bikeway is painted green and separated from cars with plastic posts.Bikeway infrastructure along the Golden Gate Greenway. 

This shared space extension benefits the community in a number of ways. It will help the city, the St. Anthony Foundation and its community partners provide space for: 

  • Neighborhood food pantry distribution 

  • Children’s play areas 

  • Voter registration drives 

  • Gentle movement classes  

  • Free pet food and veterinary care 

  • A pop-up library 

  • Bicycle repair pop-ups and bike riding classes 

However, their work for the community is not complete yet. They’re striving to increase this critical programming.  

"St. Anthony's is proud to lead the way by working together with our neighbors and the SFMTA to deliver a safer and more welcoming street for those who already share it daily: children, seniors, residents, congregants, staff, volunteers, and guests who are accessing our life-changing services,” said St. Anthony Foundation interim CEO Bryan Young. “We are grateful to the SFMTA for their commitment to this project and for their collaboration with our coalition as we continue to pursue a long-term vision for a shared, safer street that connects, renews and uplifts.” 

Next up, the Golden Gate Greenway Coalition, led by the St. Anthony Foundation, aims to create more seating, foliage and family play areas. We have been proud to work with this group and engage multiple city agencies to ensure the success of the project. Already, our efforts have led to an $8 million Safe Streets for All grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support this project and other traffic safety improvements in the Tenderloin

“The Golden Gate Greenway extension demonstrates our team’s continued commitment to building diverse and thriving communities across San Francisco through better transportation system design,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “Thanks to the great vision of the St. Anthony Foundation and its community partners, Tenderloin residents will continue to have access to more green space, safer sidewalks and roadways, and many community services and events. I look forward to seeing what’s in store on the Greenway.” 

The St. Anthony Foundation and its community partners provide many supportive services, and this project supports our mission to make communities more livable for all. 

For more information, visit the SFMTA’s Share Spaces program page (SFMTA.com/SharedSpaces) or the St. Anthony Foundation Golden Gate Greenway project page.