Downtown streets cater to a high volume of local and visiting pedestrians and should reflect a high level of amenity and quality of care.

Downtown commercial streets such as Grant or Kearny Streets handle high pedestrian volumes and high levels of activity throughout the day. Due to their importance, visibility, and high levels of pedestrian activity, downtown streets should have generous sidewalks, high levels of pedestrian amenities, and distinctive, formal design treatments.

Streetscape guidelines for downtown commercial streets are described in the Downtown Streetscape Plan, adopted in 1995.


Spear Street in Downtown San Francisco Downtown Commercial Street



  • High levels of pedestrian activity
  • Desire for generous pedestrian environment and public realm
  • High volume of through traffic
  • Important transit functions
  • Access needs for local businesses
  • Potential presence of sub-sidewalk basements
  • Limited sunlight access to sidewalks

Additional Guidelines


Standard Improvements

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Case by Case Additions

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Perpendicular or Angled ParkingPerpendicular or Angled Parking


Market Street: Downtown Commercial Street Downtown Commercial Street