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Photosimulations are for visualization purposes only, and are not intended to show specific details and dimensions

The Better Streets Plan will improve the streetscape and pedestrian environment for all users. Roll mouse over the images below to see how Better Streets Plan improvements can transform a typical commerical and residential street. Photosimulations by Urban Advantage.

Folsom Street Simulation
Photosimulation of a typical commercial street

21st Street Simulation
Photosimulation of a typical residential street


About the Plan

The Better Streets Plan creates a unified set of standards, guidelines, and implementation strategies to govern how the City designs, builds, and maintains its pedestrian environment.

The Better Streets Plan process brings together staff of multiple City agencies to comprehensively plan for streets. The Plan seeks to balance the needs of all street users, with a particular focus on the pedestrian environment and how streets can be used as public space. The Plan reflects the understanding that the pedestrian environment is about much more than just transportation – that streets serve a multitude of social, recreational and ecological needs that must be considered when deciding on the most appropriate design.

The Better Streets Plan carries out the intent of San Francisco's Better Streets Policy, adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 6, 2006.

Guide to the Better Streets Plan Download PDF: BSP_one-pager-web.pdf2.0 MB

Better Streets Plan Fact Sheet Download PDF: BSP_one-pager-web.pdf0.6 MB



The Better Streets Plan promotes a balance between all the functions of a street, and puts people and quality of place first. The City’s DRAFT Vision for the Better Streets Plan is as follows:

The Better Streets Plan will result in a street system designed to promote human needs for the use and enjoyment of public streets. It will prioritize the needs of walking, bicycling, transit use, and the use of streets as public spaces for social interaction and community life, following San Francisco’s General Plan, Transit-First Policy, and Better Streets Policy.

The Better Streets Plan will result in streets where people walk and spend time out of choice—not just necessity—because streets are memorable, engaging, safe, accessible, healthy, attractive, fun, and convenient.

The Better Streets Plan will result in a green network that enhances the City’s long-term ecological functioning and people’s connection to the natural environment.

Finally, the Better Streets Plan will result in improved street-based social opportunities, community life, access, and mobility for all San Franciscans, regardless of cultural identity, income group, neighborhood identity, or mobility level.

Click here to read the full set of DRAFT Better Streets Plan Goals and Objectives Download PDF: DRAFT_BSP_Goals-4-5-07.pdf3.4 MB



The Better Streets Plan, if fully implemented, will result in an enhanced pedestrian realm, which will help to realize a number of essential benefits for San Francisco and its residents. It will:

  • Help retain families in San Francisco: Streets that are safe from fast-moving traffic, are clean and well-maintained, and have spaces for neighbors to gather or children to play will help to retain families in San Francisco, much as affordable housing or good public schools will do the same.

  • Support Muni and a transit-first city: Every transit trip begins and ends with a walking trip. Well-designed streets that are safe for pedestrians, have amenities that people need, and connect to important transit lines will encourage greater use of the Muni system.

  • Help promote public safety: Streets that are active and have ‘eyes on the street’ will enhance residents sense of safety and security from crime and violence.

  • Help to minimize impact on global climate change and local air pollution: Streets that are designed to promote walking, cycling, and transit use over private automobile use will help to minimize San Francisco’s contribution to global climate change, and reduce local air pollution.

  • Help to minimize sewer/stormwater overflows into the Bay: Streets can be designed such that they detain a certain percentage of water during big storms. This helps reduce overflows of the City’s combined stormwater and sewer infrastructure into the bay, and also reduces local flooding problems.

  • Decrease the likelihood of pedestrian injuries and fatalities: Streets that are designed with the safety of pedestrians in mind will decrease the likelihood of pedestrian/auto collisions, and the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur each year.

  • Increase accessibility for all street users: Streets that have a clear, accessible path of travel and are free from barriers and obstructions will result in increased usability for all users, including people with disabilities, seniors, children, parents with strollers, and everyone in between.

  • Support the City’s local shopping districts and small businesses: A street system that encourages people to walk to neighborhood commercial districts rather than drive to regional shopping centers for their daily needs helps to support the small commercial areas and small businesses that make up an important part of San Francisco’s character.

  • Provide open space in areas that are lacking: As San Francisco grows and new neighborhoods emerge, there is increasing pressure on the City’s existing open spaces, and a need for open space in new neighborhoods. The city’s street system can complement and link to the larger open space network, bringing more open space to underserved neighborhoods.

  • Support neighborliness, civic interaction, and identity: Cities depend on peaceful interactions of colleagues, neighbors, and strangers who share a collective identity and pride as the residents of a place. Well-designed streets that include places to sit, stop, gather, and play create the spaces for this interaction to take place.

  • Enhance the everyday quality of life for San Francisco’s residents: Above all, a well-designed street system will enhance the livability—pleasant places to stroll or sit, opportunities for neighborly interaction, freedom from excessive noise and pollution, and a green, attractive cityscape—for San Francisco’s residents.

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info: (415) 558-6405 |


San Francisco Planning Department, Department of Public Works, Mayor's Office on Disability, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Municipal Transportation Agency, Countywide Transportation Authority

This project is made possible by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
through a grant of Proposition K Local Transportation Sales Tax Funds.