Planning Department reveals final Castro Street designs

A neighbor asks questions about the new design

A neighbor asks questions about the new design

Yesterday, the San Francisco Planning Department held their final public meeting to show off the finished designs for the $4 million dollar overhaul of Castro Street. The “Open House” was held over at the Market & Noe Center (the vacant space next to RadioShack) and the turnout was great.

In the front of the room, easels with details of the process and the final design were formed in a semi-circle. Representatives from various city departments were at each station and were available to ask questions. Attendees were invited to grab a sticky-note pad and write down their questions or concerns and stick them to the boards.

In the final design:

  • sidewalks widened from 12′ to 22′
  • sidewalk bulbous at crosswalks
  • Jane Warner Plaza repaving
  • possible nixing of north-bound left-turn onto 18th from Castro (depending on survey feedback)
  • a more direct crossing path across Market Street near Jane Warner Plaza
  • accent trees near intersections will be King Palms
  • trees along the mid-block will be Columnar Ginkos
  • rainbow sidewalks, glittery pavement, led lighting and/or Castro history facts on sidewalks if bids come in low enough

Construction is set for January 2014 and is expected to be completed around October.

The Planning Department has not yet made the design available on the project’s website, but as soon as they do, we’ll link to them.

Roy McKenzie

Roy has been a Castro resident since 2010 and is passionate about drag queens, bicycling, and food. Follow his babbling on Twitter.

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22 Responses

  1. love the rainbow crosswalks! those should be all over the city!

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  2. rblack says:

    Sidewalk history facts would be cool, but please no rainbow stripes in the crosswalk. FFS it’s a predominantly gay neighborhood not an amusement park.

    Looking forward to the other changes though, especially the sidewalk widening.

    I wish they city could find the money for Harvey Milk Plaza, it needs to be raised to street level. I wonder if the city would give money if the neighborhood contributed as well, like with the Noe Valley open space.

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    • I like idea of the sidewalks being wider. My concern is that restaurants will add sidewalk tables and the width will go back to the pre-expansion size.

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      • rblack says:

        It would have to be regulated but don’t you think that might be a good thing? An active streetscape?

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      • Roy McKenzie says:

        Hey Sanchez. I get ya. I just uploaded a rendering of the sidewalk into the gallery. Take a look. I think the tables and chairs would be put into the “furnishing zone” in between the poles and the trees. I think there is still plenty of room on the sidewalk for folks to walk.

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        • rblack says:

          Roy is that “furnishing zone” meant for the adjacent business or is it for street furniture like benches and newspaper racks etc…?

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          • Roy McKenzie says:

            I’m assuming it could be both, but good question. I think no matter where they place a cafe table and a couple of chairs the sidewalk will be large enough for folks to walk on without too much trouble.

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          • rblack says:

            Cool – thanks for the report, I was at the GGMC concert and couldn’t get to this.

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  3. Patrick says:

    Sparkle sidewalks! Just like South Shore Shopping Center in Alameda circa 1962!

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  4. What would Judy say about rainbow sidewalks? Fabulous idea, darling! I’d like to see this happen.

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  5. Stephen says:

    I think the plans look great. Castro Street certainly needs a face lift. The only concern I have is the maintenance afterwards. The Castro takes a beating from restaurants, bar hoppers, tourists and the homeless. It would be a real shame to put in those nice looking plaques and other improvements just to have it trashed.

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    • I think Patrick said in another topic that the CBD does sidewalk cleaning and other maintenance.

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      • Stephen says:

        They sweep and pick up trash.. At least that’s what they do on my street. My point is these upgrades may require more attention on a more frequent basis, considering there will now be memorial plaques, historical descriptive text, sparkle sidewalks, etc. Frequent power washing, graffiti removal, will be required.

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        • rblack says:

          They spend the majority of their budget on “cleaning” and “trash removal” and “graffiti removal” that the city already does (311). Their second biggest expense is salary for the Executive Director.

          Many of the merchants complain that the power washing that they do is too infrequent and just water i.e. ineffective.

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          • Stephen says:

            Well if that’s actually true, then the sidewalks may not look so great after a period of time.

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  6. *Sees self in photo, reads caption.* I’m actually a journalist, not a resident of the neighborhood haha.

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    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      I guess we should’ve checked everyones addresses on their ID before we wrote that…hahaha..we could use some writers. It’s a labor of love, but, well worth the effort Danielle…I love your posts at SF in 15 Weeks on Orphan Andy’s & the Castro Community Patrol.

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  7. Tony C says:

    There’s a few big trees in the area already, mostly there are small ones. Are they going to be removing the already good sized trees only to replace them? That doesn’t seem like a great idea.

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  1. May 16, 2013

    [...] “Due to budgetary constraints, San Francisco planners working on the redesign of Castro Street in the heart of the city’s gayborhood have, for now, cut from the proposal such things as rainbow crosswalks, sparkle treatments in the concrete, and embedding gay historical factoids in the sidewalks.” Rainbow crosswalks, gay factoids cut from Castro Street project [BAR] [Curbed] [Castro Biscuit] [...]

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