UPDATE: IB/OB 29 cleared at Paul & Crane. Regular service resuming. Expect rolling delays. https://t.co/9LtEZLaRv6 (More: 11 in last 48 hours)

Tenderloin COVID-19 Emergency Streets

Project Introduction

In May 2020,  Mayor Breed announced the release of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Safety Assessment and Plan for COVID-19 -- a report of the current conditions in the Tenderloin and a block-by-block plan for addressing those challenges.  The Tenderloin Plan is part of the City’s broader efforts to address the public health crisis in San Francisco and among people who are experiencing homelessness.  The disproportionate impacts from COVID-19 to the Tenderloin are part of the broader intersectional public health issues that the Tenderloin faces, and the SFMTA is working with the community to be part of the solution.

The SFMTA is currently supporting this emergency response plan, which identified creating more walking space in the neighborhood as a priority.  Since May, the SFMTA has been working closely with City departments, Supervisor Matt Haney’s Office, and community members on two main priorities:

  1. Expanding walking space to alleviate the public health concerns of overcrowding.

The SFMTA will work on a network of expanded walking space (parking or travel lane closures) that will enable community members to practice physical distancing while traveling to work and essential services.

  1. Supporting emerging needs as part of the COVID-19 recovery, such a curb changes to support neighborhood services, and temporary street closures to open for people and businesses.

Completed as of June 2020

  • Fulton Street between Larkin and Hyde – parking prohibited to support Safe Sleeping Site between Larkin and Hyde Street.
  • O'Farrell between Taylor & Mason - parking prohibited to support physical distancing
  • Taylor between O’Farrell & Ellis – parking prohibited to support physical distancing
  • Golden Gate between Jones & Taylor - parking prohibited on half of the north block and part-time street closure to facilitate meal services
  • Ellis between Jones & Leavenworth - parking prohibited on half of the north block and lane closure to support physical distancing and queueing for essential services on block

Planned Work                                                                                                                    

  • Jones Street between O’Farrell Street to Golden Gate Avenue - SFMTA will be adding temporary walking space to allow people to practice physical distancing for essential travel and services. This requires converting one car travel lane and parking lane to a pedestrian walking space. These changes are expected to happen in late July 2020.

Proposed Condition on Jones Street

In Progress

  • Turk Street between Polk and Market – SFMTA will be looking at opportunities to add temporarily walking space to allow people to practice physical distancing for essential travel and services. This planning/design work is expected to start in early August 2020..

Frequently Asked Questions

What sparked the decision to create more walking space in the Tenderloin?

The SFMTA will be using existing roadway to create more walking space on key neighborhood streets. We are working under the City’s COVID-19 Command Center (CCC) as part of the Tenderloin COVID-19 Neighborhood Assessment, which identified creating more walking space in the neighborhood as a priority. This are several reasons, but especially to ensure that community members can complete essential trips while maintaining physical distance.

Will the additional walking space along Jones and Turk be permanent?

This COVID-19 response work will last as long as the state of emergency. However, temporary changes may point to long term solutions that address the existing traffic safety concerns. Any permanent changes to Jones (if pursued) would be required to go through the typical design and approval process.

How will the increased walking spaces along Jones and Turk be kept clean from debris and trash?

The MTA is pursuing maintenance contracts to support any street changes that preclude regular street sweeping.

Won’t sidewalk expansion lead to more tent encampments?

The SFMTA is here to respond to the public health crisis impacting the most vulnerable people in the Tenderloin. Over the past few weeks, the number of encampments in the Tenderloin have decreased significantly, including along Jones. Our project team will continue to work closely with the CCC and our community partners to maintain safe passage and direct outreach services to these areas when needed.

Will SFMTA continue its quick-build projects in the Tenderloin, and if not, why? 

Our priority quick-build projects in the community are on a pause as the project staff support the work of the CCC team. Our commitment to the Tenderloin includes inclusive planning, which is difficult with the limitations on personal interactions. As the City emerges from the crisis, we are looking forward to moving ahead with our quick-build efforts, and hopefully some of our work during the emergency response will complement those projects.

How does SFMTA plan on dealing with worsening traffic, as businesses reopen at the same time lanes are being closed?

The SFMTA is committed to thorough on-going evaluation of this temporary project to adjust as required. The project teams will continue to monitor all types of transportation conditions, including pedestrian safety and vehicle traffic, to ensure that the projects continue to meet the needs of the community.

What is the reasoning behind the decision to not implement slow street programs in the Tenderloin? 

Slow streets lend themselves to low-vehicle traffic, primarily residential streets. The Tenderloin has none of these typologies of streets, so our solutions need to be different. However, the SFMTA is committed to finding the right solutions for the Tenderloin, and in developing these projects in deep coordination with the many community-based organizations, residential buildings and businesses in the neighborhood.

Who do I contact if I am interested in having parking removed for my business?

Please contact the project team via email at TLStreets@sfmta.com

Who do I contact if my community org/group is interested in closing a street or block?

Please contact the project team via email at TLStreets@sfmta.com

Contact Information
Project Team