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The area around Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley is officially closed off to vehicular traffic as of Monday morning, turning a successful pilot program into a permanent change.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Octavia Open Street Project closes off vehicle traffic on Octavia Boulevard between Linden and Hayes streets. The street is now only accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Supervisor Vallie Brown, who represents the Hayes Valley neighborhood, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that she recalls being an activist calling for the demolition of the Central Freeway, which was once part of Octavia Boulevard.

Brown said:

“To actually…now be able to stand on this part of Octavia Boulevard is a dream come true.”

SFMTA Interim Director of Transportation Tom Maguire said since the freeway was torn down, The City has taken steps to make the Hayes Valley neighborhood more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Maguire said:

“We took that freeway down, but we didn’t stop here. We’ve been working with Hayes Valley neighbors and stakeholders and residents from all over this part of The City to make Patricia’s Green, Octavia Boulevard and this whole neighborhood more pedestrian friendly, less congested, less honking, more space for people to walk and bike and enjoy the great renaissance of Hayes Valley.”

Transit officials have spent the last couple of years testing the block closure and soliciting public feedback. The SFMTA Board of Directors approved the permanent street closure back in July.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay SFMTA Interim Director of Transportation Tom Maguire, right, celebrates the completion of the Octavia Open Street Project during a press conference in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, December 9, 2019.

Lloyd Silverstein with the Hayes Valley Merchants Association applauded the SFMTA for its efforts to increase safety for the area’s pedestrians and bicyclists.

Silverstein said:

“I think we were able to accomplish both by getting this blocked off without any real big impact.”

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier said:

“That dream of streets and neighborhood spaces that put people first is continuing today right here on Octavia Boulevard at Patricia’s Green as we celebrate…this beautiful space that is now open for people walking and biking safely…”

Mayor London Breed said in a statement that residents, local businesses and visitors deserve to have more open public spaces.

Breed said:

“Today, we are creating a space for friends and family to play, shop, and enjoy Hayes Valley. This is one example of our larger efforts to create more open space in San Francisco to benefit the community.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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