UPDATE: #JChurch will not resume regular service just yet at as crews clean up around the tracks. Will update. (More: 46 in last 48 hours)

Special Event Street Closures

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

 

 

 

 

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 our city and our communities as we begin the process of moving towards a new normal after the restrictions and privations of the earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, mourning our losses, and rebuilding our lives, our communities, our economy, our City.

While COVID-19 is still circulating, and there are concerns around new variants emerging, almost all restrictions and requirements have been lifted and the few remaining likely will disappear over the next few weeks. It is now allowable to hold all the types of events normally permitted through this program. Neighborhood block parties, outdoor arts and musical festivals, road races and other outdoor special events are all permissible now. And events that might previously have been held indoors may now consider looking to outdoor opportunities, in parks and on closed streets, in the face of our knowledge of the issues that may be posed by prolonged indoor gatherings.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and public health in San Francisco, please see the following:

Applying for a Street Closure

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.

Once your complete application has been reviewed by our staff, your event may be scheduled to go before the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) for final review and approval by all the City departments who permit special events. Approval will be given at the ISCOTT hearing.

If you are looking to apply for a "Shared Spaces" permit for a daily or weekly recurring street closure, please see the Shared Spaces website.


 

How the Temporary Street Closure Permitting Process Works

Every year the SFMTA, as administrator of an interdepartmental committee established by the Board of Supervisors, helps bring more than 600 special events to city streets, ranging from afternoon block parties and community street fairs to major closures for conferences and for 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. In addition, you will assisted in obtaining the other City permits that might be necessary for your event, for tents, food service, amplified sound, and so on. 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. We can help you structure an event that will meet you goals and expectation while minimizing costs. As well, not all combinations of dates and locations can be permitted; inquiring early will avoid disappointment.

30 days prior to the event is the deadline to submit an application. However, we strongly encourage everyone to apply 4 to 6 months in advance, and applications can be submitted even earlier than that.

Most additional City permits require a minimum of 2 weeks advance notice, and your application may require you to address other requirements, such as providing barricades, portable toilets or, for larger events, insurance, a medical plan and/or monitored bicycle parking. Because these can take some time to arrange, for applications submitted at the deadline, it may not be possible to complete all the necessary tasks in time, and you may have to cancel the event. 

After your application is accepted and any key questions resolved, it will be scheduled for review by the Committee at a public hearing (conducted online/remotely). You may be required to conduct community outreach and post public notices prior to this hearing. If your application is approved, you will receive a permit by email within a week of the hearing.


     

    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. The 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.

    As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a site plan showing the layout of your proposed activities in the street. Simpler block parties that will have no physical objects on the street or sidewalk may not require this.

    In most cases, block parties will require few if any additional City permits and the only requirement will be the provisioning of street closure barricades. Simple or recurring block parties will not require participation in the public hearing.

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

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee Jul 1, 2022—Jun 30, 2023 fee
    120+ days before event $ 50 $ 50
    90-120 days before event $ 75 $ 50
    60-89 days before event $ 100 $ 100
    30-59 days before event $ 150 $ 200

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

    While SFMTA staff are returning to their offices, it is always quicker and more efficient to submit applications online or by emailing a completed PDF form; there may be a delay in processing any applications submitted by postal mail. For emailed PDFs, a link will be emailed back for payment of the application fee.

    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.

    As part of a complete application, you will need to submit a detailed, written description of the event, as well as a site plan showing the layout of all objects and activities planned for the public right of way, sufficiently detailed, accurate and to scale to allow for staff assessment. 

    While some community non-profit events may only need the special event street closure, most will require that a few additional permits or processes be completed, for most of which there are additional charges. Simple or recurring community events often will not require participation in the public hearing.

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

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee Jul 1, 2022—Jun 30, 2023 fee
    120+ days before event $ 100 $ 150
    90-120 days before event $ 150 $ 150
    60-89 days before event $ 200 $ 225
    30-59 days before event $ 250 $ 275

    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, road races or other athletic events, conferences, and musical festivals.

    • Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the closure date to be considered.
      • Street Fair applications must be received at least 90 days prior to the closure date.
      • It will not be possible for many larger events to complete all the necessary tasks within 30 days.
    • 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.

    As part of a complete application, you will need to submit a detailed, written description of the event, as well as a site plan showing the layout of all objects and activities planned for the public right of way, sufficiently detailed, accurate and to scale to allow for staff assessment. Most larger events will need to submit additional plans for things like waste management and staffing and events with alcohol a security plan. Very large or athletic events will require an approved emergency medical plan and that process typically takes at least 60 days.

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

    Application Received Jul 1, 2021—Jun 30, 2022 fee Jul 1, 2022—Jun 30, 2023 fee
    120+ days before event $ 1100 $ 1150
    90-120 days before event** $ 1325 $ 1400
    60-89 days before event $ 1600 $ 1700
    30-59 days before event $ 2000 $ 2100

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

    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
    • Hearings are conducted virtually/online, and typically last about an hour. While you can call in, participation via the internet works better.
    • Simple and/or recurring events may not require your participation in the hearing.
    • The Committee is made up of the following City departments: SFMTA, San Francisco Police Department, Public Works, Public Health, San Francisco Fire Department, Planning and Entertainment Commission.
    • It is a public hearing; community members are welcome. There is a period at the beginning for the public to raise matters that are within the Committee's purview, but are not on the day's agenda.
    • Agendas are posted online and sent to applicants one week prior to the ISCOTT date.
    • Applicants typically 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/log off after the Committee has voted on your item.
    • Follow-up correspondence will be provided via e-mail. Permits for approved events are emailed out within one week of the hearing.

    For further information about conducting special events on City streets, please contact SpecialEvents@sfmta.com