Shared Spaces — Keeping Our Commercial Corridors Alive and Well

Mayor Breed walking along Valencia Street

Thriving Commercial Corridors

When we first launched the Shared Spaces program, restaurants were still only allowed to offer pick-up and delivery and so it focused on adding more loading zones and space for people to wait in line. We have come a long way since then, with many restaurants using the program with seating areas in front of their storefront and offering outdoor dining.

Mayor Breed talking with Amparo Vigil, small business owner of Puerto Alegre, at Valencia Street Shared Spaces

Shared Spaces

In June, we launched the Shared Spaces program to help neighborhood businesses use public spaces, such as sidewalks, full or partial streets, or other nearby public spaces like parks and plazas to operate outdoors. Shared Spaces allows businesses, local merchant associations, and community organizations to apply for a free, expedited permit to operate restaurant outdoor dining, beverage sales, personal services, retail, and other activities that are allowed under our Health Order.

  • Full streets
  • Curbside
  • Sidewalk
  • City property, like parks and plazas
  • Private property
Mayor Breed with April Spears, owner of Cafe Envy in the Bayview, which set up outdoor dining using Shared Spaces
  • Golden Gate Avenue from Larkin to Hyde streets, Thursday — Sundays, 11:00am to 8:00pm
  • Thursday, September 17 through Thursday, December 31
  • Sponsor: Tenderloin Merchants Association and Tenderloin Community Benefit District
  • Taraval Street from 46th to 47th Avenues, Sundays 9:30am to 8:30pm
  • Sunday, September 6 through Sunday, November 15
  • Sponsor: People of Parkside Sunset (POPS)
  • Galvez Avenue at 3rd Street, Saturdays, 8:00am to 12:00pm
  • Active: Saturday, September 5 through Saturday, November 7
  • Sponsor: Economic Development on Third
  • Stevenson Street from 6th to 7th Streets, Thursday, 4:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Active: Thursday, September 10 through Thursday, December 17
  • Sponsor: SF Parks Alliance
The info above is for Shared Spaces approved permits on streets and sidewalks. For data on all of the Shared Spaces, go to SF.gov/Shared-Spaces

Streamlining City Bureaucracy

The City’s Economic Recovery Task Force listened to businesses about what they needed, and we heard that we needed to streamline City bureaucracy and make it faster to get permission to use part of the sidewalk, parking spaces, and even the full street. We also made sure Shared Spaces permits were free!

Residents enjoying outdoor dining on Union Street

Supporting Healthy Communities

In addition to helping businesses, the Shared Spaces helps provide outdoor space for other activities that support the health and wellbeing of the entire community. For example, this weekend, a new weekly event will start in the Sunset, with live music, outdoor dining, and arts and crafts, and Carnaval will host a resource fair for the Latino community this Saturday and Sunday with COVID-19 testing, a job fair, and free groceries.

Shared Spaces outdoor dining set up along 16th Street in the Mission

Community Partners

So many of our successes with Shared Spaces wouldn’t have been possible without the work and collaboration of neighborhood merchant groups, neighborhood associations, and community partners. I want to thank all the organizations that have come to us with ideas for Shared Spaces streets, and who have done so much work on the ground to build community support and coordinate among a lot of different stakeholders.

Curbside Shared Spaces on Irving Street

What’s Next?

We’re getting an average of 75 permit applications per week. It’s really exciting that people want to participate in this program and are excited about using street space in a way that is designed for people. Curbside and sidewalk permits are issued on a rolling basis, and we’re keeping track of them here if you want more information.

The Shared Spaces tracker includes a map of permits issued so far

Stay up-to-date

We’ll be adding new full streets to Shared Spaces regularly over the coming weeks and months, so head to SF.gov/Shared-Spaces to check out the latest.

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