Planning Dept updates: Castro Street Design additional features, sidewalk furniture

Sidewalk Pavement Details
Sidewalk Pavement Details via SF Planning Department

Some of the commenters in our post regarding the final design for the Castro Street Redesign had some questions for the Planning Department that we could not answer. Nick Perry, Urban Designer and Project Lead for the Castro Street Design project, reached out to us to help answer some of those questions.

Q: The BAR reported that Castro history facts, LED lighting, mica sparkles, rainbow crosswalks, etc. did not make the final design cut.
A: They did not make the final design cut, which is true, however if bids come in low enough for the rest of the project, some of these additional enhancements may be included in the project.

Q: There was discussion about allowing businesses to place café tables and chairs on the new sidewalks. Where would this furniture go?
A: Café tables and chairs would be allowed in the Frontage Zone which is +/- 4 feet directly adjacent to the buildings and possibly in the Furnishings Zone (nearest the street) where trees, poles, bike racks, etc will be located.

Q: Will the furniture crowd up the sidewalk, defeating the purpose of widening the sidewalks?
A: No, the main Throughway Zone is 9 feet in width and is scored in a 3x3 pattern to distinguish it from the Frontage and Furnishing zones. The scoring will help the city regulate the space and keep it clear of obstructions. In addition, Throughway Zones will be 9 feet wide (around 3 feet wider than the current sidewalks) allowing for plenty of unobstructed foot-traffic.

Q: Will anybody be able to put out a table and some chairs?
A: Whether they’re in the frontage zone or furnishing zone, any tables and chairs placed by businesses would need to be permitted and approved by the City on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any other questions for the Planning Department regarding the improvements to Castro's proposed streetscape redesign, let us know and we'll try to get some answers for you!