Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
San Francisco

San Francisco: Reclaiming Streets With Innovative Solutions

Tom Radulovich, the executive director of the local non-profit Livable City, describes the recent livable streets achievements in San Francisco as "tactical urbanism" -- using low-cost materials like paint and bollards to reclaim street space.

That willingness to experiment was a big reason that the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) gave its 2012 Sustainable Transport Award to San Francisco (an honor shared with Medellín, Colombia). In this Streetfilm we profile the innovations that earned SF recognition from ITDP.

Perhaps the city's most exciting new development has been the parklet program, which converts parking spaces into public space complete with tables, chairs, art, and greenery. These mini-parks are adopted and paid for by local businesses, but they remain public space. The concept has its roots in the PARK(ing) Day phenomenon started by the SF-based Rebar Group in 2005.

San Francisco has also seen an impressive 71 percent increase in bicycling in the past five years, despite being under a court injunction that prohibited bicycle improvements for most of that time. The city aims to have 20 percent of trips by bike by 2020. Sunday Streets, San Francisco's version of Ciclovia, has also drawn huge numbers of participants and continues to expand.

The city has also taken the lead on innovative parking management with the SFPark program, which uses new technology to help manage public parking in several pilot neighborhoods. It aims to make it easier to find a parking spot by adjusting prices according to demand, helping to reduce pollution, traffic, and frustrations for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Need a Camera to My Eye

Reminding which lies have I been hiding — like that I was driving illegally in the bus lane or bike lane.

May 28, 2024

Rep. Earl Blumenauer Thinks Biking Is About To Have Its Big Moment

..and he hopes to catalyze that revolution as he leaves the halls of Congress.

May 28, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Depend on How You Phrase It

How to reduce emissions through taxes is pretty clear, but to sell it to the public, you can't make lower-income people pay.

May 24, 2024

Register Your Bike. It’s Easy, It’s Free, and It Helps Everyone

Bike Index, a free national bike registry, just launched an iOS app to make it even easier.

May 23, 2024
See all posts