For Immediate Release: Friday, January 6, 2012
Press Contact: (415) 554-6926
CITY ANNOUNCES PILOT PROJECT TO EXTEND THE SIDEWALK ALONG STOCKTON STREET
Pilot Project Allow Businesses to Display Merchandise and Alleviates Sidewalk Congestion during the Lunar New Year Festivities
San Francisco, CA—Today, Mayor Lee, District Three Supervisor David Chiu, the Chinatown community, and city agencies announced the Stockton Street Pilot Project for Chinese New Year 2012 which will extend the sidewalk along one of the busiest streets in San Francisco. The pilot project will close the parking lanes on both the east and west side of Stockton Street; allowing pedestrians to navigate safely and small businesses to utilize the space to display merchandise.
“Every year before the Chinese New Year, Chinatown’s Stockton Street welcomes thousands of additional shoppers and tourists who are visiting San Francisco to celebrate and prepare for the new year,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “With the cooperation and partnership from the community and various City agencies, we are launching a pilot project on Stockton Street to increase pedestrian safety and support local merchants, while studying how to improve the experience for everyone along this important commercial corridor.”
During the Chinese Lunar New Year, thousands of people visit Chinatown to shop, eat, and participate in festivities. A case study completed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) reveal that on an average day, an estimated 2,000 people walk along this corridor per hour; resulting in several million pedestrians annually. During the Lunar New Year, that number is estimated to increase as people travel into the city.
“The Stockton Street Pilot Project is a partnership to enhance and improve the experience in Chinatown during this peak holiday time. Chinese New Year is celebrated by thousands and we want to provide an environment that supports the small business community and improves pedestrian flow along Stockton and connecting streets," said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, whose district includes Chinatown. "We are creating a public space that meets the growing needs of this community and beyond.”
The Stockton Street Pilot Project for Chinese New Year 2012 will operate between 10 am to 6 pm, from January 14 – 22. Barricades will be installed to delineate the extended sidewalk from traffic. The parking lanes will reopen for truck deliveries and use before and after the scheduled project hours. MUNI lines will continue to operate. Parking and traffic will be strictly enforced during these trial days.
“As the City celebrates the Year of the Dragon, DPW is working with the community to ensure our public right of way is used in an efficient, inviting, and safe manner. The Stockton Street Pilot Project will provide much needed space for a successful lunar celebration,” said Mohammed Nuru, Interim Director of the Department of Public Works.
Leading up to the start of project, the community and merchant stakeholders and representatives from DPW and the Department of Public Health will be walking the Stockton Corridor to educate businesses about the closure of the parking lanes. They will also share public health and public works codes in addition to merchant display guidelines. Youth volunteers will also monitor the pedestrian flow and ensure vehicular traffic is not impeded. Merchants are responsible for fully complying with the guidelines and all codes. Results that come from public comment during this trial will help inform the city as to whether it can be replicated for future Chinese New Year festivities.
"The Chinese tradition calls for people to shop in the stores and purchase items in celebration of the Chinese New Year," said Pius Lee, Co-Chair of Chinatown Neighborhood Association. "This pilot project is a win for the community including businesses that will be able to use the extra space to display their merchandise and pedestrians so they can travel in and around safely along Stockton Street. We are very pleased the Mayor, Supervisor Chiu and our partners are in full support of this initiative.”
The Stockton Street Pilot Project is a collaborative initiative between the Chinatown community and City agencies including the Department of Public Works, the Municipal Transportation Agency, Mayor’s Office, Department of Public Health, the Police Department, Office of the City Administrator, the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese American Association of Commerce, Chinatown Merchants Association, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the Community Youth Center, and Recology. For more information about the project, please visit www.sfdpw.org
DPW is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and much of its infrastructure. The department cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and maintains City street trees; designs, constructs and maintains city-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; constructs curb ramps; removes graffiti from public property; and partners with the diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco to provide stellar cleaning and greening services. More information is available at www.sfdpw.org