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Mayor London Breed Tuesday is proposing a $9.5 million spending plan to reinvigorate downtown tourism.

In a statement on the Downtown Recovery Plan, Breed said:

“A vibrant, thriving, and healthy Downtown is essential to San Francisco’s recovery. Our downtown is a core part of our city. As we continue reopening and moving forward on our recovery, we need to make investments now to ensure our downtown area is welcoming, clean, and attractive, so that people want to come back and spend time in the area.”

The plan calls for a $7.5 million expansion of the Community Ambassadors Program at transit hubs and key downtown locations. The ambassadors would engage with commuters, visitors and individuals in distress who may need city services. They would also be tasked with contacting city departments if they see sidewalks and public spaces that require cleaning.

The mayor wants to spend another $1 million to create a series of open-air events and performances throughout the downtown corridor. The “SFWednesdays” two-hour events would take place at transit hubs, on pedestrian streets and in alleyways from noon to 6 p.m. on at least 10 Wednesdays between July and October.

Officials are working with the art community to plan for future events. The former temporary Transbay Terminal may be used to host some activities.

Breed also wants to invest $1 million to improve Hallidie Plaza, which connects visitors and commuters to the BART Powell St. station and The City’s iconic cable cars. Plaza improvements would include cleaning, installing more plants and colorful furniture, as well as increasing food and beverage options.

Karin Flood, the executive director for the Union Square Business Improvement District, said in a statement that Breed’s proposal is key to The City’s recovery, adding:

“These additional City investments, especially in Union Square Park and in Hallidie Plaza – the gateway to our district – are key to our economic recovery. We support Mayor London Breed’s budget request for more “eyes and ears” on the street helping to ensure that San Francisco lives up to its promise as a vibrant world-class city.”

The Mayor’s Office said the proposed Downtown Recovery Plan will complement the Breed’s recently announced proposed Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan, which calls for increased police presence and community ambassadors in the Mid-Market and U.N. Plaza areas.

Breed is expected to formally introduce her proposed budget on June 1.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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