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Special Event Street Closures

Drive & Park
Business Permit
Children playing at a Play Streets block party

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Special Events

Special events and other community gatherings are an important part of the fabric of life in San Francisco, contributing not only economically, but also socially, and such contributions are more important than ever in supporting and sustaining our city and our communities as we continue to work through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the public health situation still remains somewhat fluid, it is increasingly allowable to hold the types of events permitted through this program. [Note that the public notification and hearing process may be delayed.]

All permits will be conditional upon the planned event being allowable under applicable local, state, and/or federal orders in place at the event date. There will be no refunds of the required application fee for applications withdrawn after initial intake or for events that cannot take place.

Neighborhood block parties, outdoor arts and musical festivals, road races and other outdoor special events are all permissible now, though there are still restrictions and requirements that may apply.

You should consult guidelines from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) for specifics that may apply to your planned event. Bear in mind that these guidelines are applicable now and there may be changes made by the date of your event, and that these changes may impact viability or permissibility or your event.

You may find the following exhibits to Health Officer Directive No. 2020-19i helpful.

You may find other SFDPH guidelines of value, depending on the specifics of your event, such as Guidance for the prevention of COVID-19 Transmission for Gatherings

For up-to-date information on public health orders, the City's responses, and current COVID-19 data, please see the following:

Applying for a Street Closure

Note: If you are looking to apply for "Shared Spaces" use of parking space(s) or the sidewalk to support business recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the Shared Spaces website.

The first step to holding your block party, festival, farmers' market, street fair, athletic event or other fun activity on the streets of San Francisco is a Temporary Street Closure Application.


 

How the Temporary Street Closure Permitting Process Works

Every year the SFMTA helps bring more than 600 special events to city streets, ranging from afternoon block parties and neighborhood street fairs to major closures for tech conferences and large athletic events like Bay to Breakers. In addition to permitting, we do the behind-the-scenes work necessary to temporarily shut off traffic for your event, such as rerouting transit service and deploying street enforcement personnel to make sure your event goes off without a hitch. If you have any questions before you apply, don't hesitate to ask. We are here to help. If this is your first time planning an event, we encourage you to email or call to discuss early in the planning process, well before you are actually ready to submit an application.

Here's how the process works:

Submit Application - 30 days before event; 90 days for Street Fair. SFMTA feedback - 1-5 business days. ISCOTT hearing - 2nd & 4th Thursdays, Represent your event, Approval announced. Permit e-mailed - 1-5 business days. Follow permit instructions - Obtain all City permits, request termporary parking removal, Apply early. Host event - have fun and be safe!

Your permit will tell you if you are required to contact other relevant City departments to obtain additional City permits or resources before hosting the event. Don't worry, we'll also let you know upfront when we review your application if extra permits might be necessary.

Most additional City permits require a minimum of 2 weeks advance notice. There may also be additional requirements associated with your permit, such as monitored bicycle parking or toilet requirements. Because these can take some time to arrange, we encourage you to apply well in advance - at least a few months; we can accept applications for events as much as a year prior to the event date.


     

    Apply for Temporary Special Event Street Closure Permits

     

    Neighborhood Block Party Street Closure

    A block party is a resident-led, free and open to the neighborhood event--a great way to get to know your neighbors and play safely in the street. Applicant should be a resident on the block to be closed or a pre-existing neighborhood association.

    • Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the event date.
    • Single-day, one-block, residential street closure.
    • No impact to transit service.
    • Non-commercial. No admission fees and no sale of goods or services.

    Plan ahead! The earlier you apply, the cheaper the application fee:

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee
    120+ days before event $ 50
    90-120 days before event $ 75
    60-89 days before event $ 100
    30-59 days before event $ 150

    Applications and payment may be submitted online. A PDF application form is also available.

    Apply Online 


    Community Non-Profit Event Closure

    Community Non-Profit Event street closure permits are intended for modest-sized events being put on non-profit entities serving the area of the closure, such as a residents’ association, Community Benefit District, or community-serving non-profit, or a City agency.  They are restricted to a maximum of two blocks, with no closed intersections, and should not significantly impact transit or traffic circulation.

    • Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the closure date.
    • Should be free and open to the public.
    • Maximum of 500 attendees.
    • Other restrictions apply.
    • Other Requirements:
      • A written description and detailed site plan are required as part of your application.
      • Your event may require additional permits or services.

    Plan ahead! The earlier you apply, the cheaper the application fee:

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee
    120+ days before event $ 100
    90-120 days before event** $ 150
    60-89 days before event $ 200
    30-59 days before event $ 250

    Application forms for Community Non-Profit Events are being prepared; in the interim, please use existing forms for regular Special Events. Applications and payment may be submitted online. A PDF application form is also available.

    Apply Online 


     

    Special Event Street Closure

    Special Events are all other events that are not residential block parties or small community non-profit events. They can be community, non-profit, private, or commercial events including but not limited to street fairs, athletic events, or other events held on a public street.

    • Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the closure date.
      • Street Fair applications must be received at least 90 days prior to the closure date.
    • May include multiple blocks and intersections, in residential and non-residential areas.
    • May impact Muni service. Such impacts may incur significant additional costs.
    • May sell goods and services.
    • Other Requirements:
      • A written description and comprehensive site plan are required as part of your application.
      • Most events will be required to submit insurance. See our insurance requirements for details.
      • Your event may require additional permits or services.

    Plan ahead! The earlier you apply, the cheaper the application fee:

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee
    120+ days before event $ 1100
    90-120 days before event** $ 1325
    60-89 days before event $ 1600
    30-59 days before event $ 2000

    ** Street Fair applications must be received at least 90-days prior to the closure date

    Applications and payment may be submitted online. A PDF application form is also available.

    Apply Online 


     

    Filming and Photography Street Closure Events 

    • Film productions that require street closures must first submit an SF Film Commission permit application
    • Once you have an approved SF Film Commission permit, you may apply for a street closure permit

    Plan ahead! The earlier you apply, the cheaper the application fee:

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021 – Jun 30, 2022 fee
    120+ days before event $ 1100
    90-120 days before event $ 1325
    60-89 days before event $ 1600
    30-59 days before event $ 2000
    7-29 days before event $ 2200
    3-6 days before event $ 2750

    Applications and payment may be submitted online. A PDF application form is also available.

    Apply Online


     

    What You Need to Know about the ISCOTT Hearing

    • 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month
      • Exceptions: hearings are held on the 2nd Thursday in November only, and on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays in December
    • For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, hearings will be conducted virtually/online. Normally, they are held at 9am at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, 7th Floor, Union Square Conference Room
    • The duration of the hearing is typically 1-1.5 hours
    • The Committee is made up of the following City departments: SFMTA, San Francisco Police Department, Public Works, SFDPH, San Francisco Fire Department, and Entertainment Commission
    • It is a public hearing; community members are welcome
    • Agendas are posted online and sent to applicants one week prior to the ISCOTT date
    • Applicants will need to give a brief (1-2 minute) synopsis of their event purpose, location, and activities, and respond to any Committee questions
    • After the Committee and members of the public have commented, the Committee votes to approve or deny the event
    • You may leave after the Committee has voted on your item.
    • Follow-up correspondence will be provided via e-mail

    For further information about temporary street closures, please contact SpecialEvents@sfmta.com