Creating Better Streets can provide significant benefits to San Francisco as a whole. If Better Streets are widely implemented across San Francisco, they will:

  • Retain families in San Francisco: Streets that are safe for pedestrians, are clean and well-maintained, and have spaces for neighbors to gather or children to play will help to retain families in San Francisco.
  • Support Muni and a transit-first city: Every transit trip begins and ends with a walking trip. Well-designed streets that are safe for pedestrians, have amenities that people need, and connect to important transit lines will encourage greater transit use.
  • Promote public safety: Streets that are active and have ‘eyes on the street’ will enhance residents’ sense of safety and security from crime and violence.
  • Decrease the likelihood of pedestrian injuries and fatalities: Streets that are designed with the safety of pedestrians in mind will decrease the likelihood of pedestrian/auto collisions, and the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur each year.
  • Increase accessibility for all street users: Streets that have a clear, accessible path of travel and are free from barriers and obstructions will result in increased usability for all users, including people with disabilities, seniors, children, parents with strollers, and everyone in between.
  • Support the City’s local shopping districts and small businesses:  A street system that encourages people to walk to neighborhood commercial districts rather than drive to regional shopping centers for their daily needs helps to support the small commercial areas and small businesses that make up an important part of San Francisco’s character.
  • Provide open space in areas that are lacking:  As San Francisco grows, there is increasing pressure on the City’s existing open spaces, and a need for open space in new neighborhoods. The city’s street system can complement and link to the larger open space network, bringing more open space to underserved neighborhoods.
  • Minimize impact on global climate change and local air pollution: Streets that are designed to promote walking, cycling, and transit use over private automobile use will help to minimize San Francisco’s contribution to global climate change, and reduce local air pollution.
  • Minimize stormwater pollution and combined sewer discharges: Streets can be designed to slow, reduce, and clean stormwater runoff. This can help to prevent pollution from entering the City’s sewer system and the Bay and Ocean.
  • Enhance connectivity and habitat for wildlife: By providing green connections with appropriate landscaping and lighting, streets can play a role as habitat connectors and contribute to the ability of birds, butterflies, and other animals to survive in the urban landscape.
  • Support neighborliness, civic interaction, and identity: Cities depend on peaceful interactions of colleagues, neighbors, and strangers who share a collective identity and pride as the residents of a place. Well-designed streets that include places to sit, stop, gather, and play create the spaces for this interaction to take place.
  • Enhance the everyday quality of life for San Francisco’s residents: Above all, a well-designed street system will enhance the livability—pleasant places to stroll or sit, opportunities for neighborly interaction, freedom from excessive noise and pollution, and a green, attractive cityscape—for San Francisco’s residents.

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