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Haight Street improvements increase safety, preserve neighborhood feel

San Francisco leaders and merchants along Haight Street Wednesday morning celebrated completion of pedestrian improvements, new streetlights and expanded bus transit stops as part of the Upper Haight Transit Improvement and Pedestrian Realm Project.

Haight Street Merchants Association President Sunshine Powers said at the press conference:

“We have brand new lights, brand new sidewalks, but even though we have some new stuff, the color, creativity and consciousness that Haight Street is historically known for, still emulates from the streets.”

The $22.3 million project included ADA-compliant curb ramps at crosswalks, new transit bus bulbs, increased sidewalk street lighting and traffic signal work. Seven blocks of Haight Street between Stanyan Street and Central Avenue were repaved and new trees were added to spruce up the historic Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood.

Other improvements that cannot be seen by the public include the replacement of the aging sewer main system and fiber conduit work. Additional sewer work and repaving work took place on Masonic Avenue between Haight and Waller streets, city officials said.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Mayor London Breed joins, merchants and city leaders in a ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the Upper Haight Transit Improvement and Pedestrian Realm Project, in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (Jerold Chinn / SFBay)

Recalling issues that emerged when the project began, Mayor London Breed and former District 5 supervisor said merchants and residents lodged complaints about the construction, parking and gas leaks that occurred more than once during construction of the project.

Breed said:

“This community has not just suffered because of the pandemic. There were a lot of challenges around this construction. But here’s the good news, we’re done. Finally.”

Construction began in September 2018 and continued during the pandemic. The Department of Public Works led the project’s design and construction management, though the endeavor was a partnership with several city departments and agencies. 

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said in a statement the 7-Haight/Noriega route will benefit from the improvements, adding:

“The signals are designed to prioritize the 7-Haight — one of our highest ridership lines. Muni is delivering similar projects on most of our lines and we are proud to offer these improvements on Haight Street.”

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