SFMTA To Test Closing Off Half-Block Of Octavia Blvd. To Cars

SFMTA To Test Closing Off Half-Block Of Octavia Blvd. To Cars
Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on March 02, 2017.

The SFMTA is closing off a short segment of Octavia Boulevard, from Linden to Hayes streets, to northbound traffic between March 31st and April 7th. 

The half-block of Octavia between Linden and Hayes has been closed numerous times for events, but this is "the first time SFMTA will close it for this duration and experimental purpose," said SFMTA spokesperson Ben Jose.

"We anticipate minimal impact to traffic, and we will be studying the effect of this limited closure carefully." 

If the test goes well, the closure could conceivably be made permanent, as part of the Octavia Boulevard Enhancement Project.

"The purpose [...] is to evaluate how a closure of northbound Octavia from Linden to Hayes would work, as well as highlight the overall public realm opportunities along this popular boulevard," Jose said.

Throughout the community outreach phase of the project, SFMTA has heard interest from the community in public realm and livability improvements on Octavia Boulevard near Patricia’s Green. Linden Street recently received $189,000 in city funds to make improvements to its living alleyway, which is right next to Patricia’s Green.

During the weeklong closure, drivers using Octavia Boulevard to reach destinations on or north of Hayes Street would need to find an alternative corridor, such as Franklin, Laguna or Buchanan streets, Jose said. 

The SFMTA estimates that about 900 vehicles per day will be impacted by the closure—roughly 100 per hour during the peak hours and 50 during the midday period, Jose explains.

Jose said some "fun neighborhood activities" will accompany the closure, though not all of them are confirmed yet. 

The adjacent PROXY complex will be able to take advantage of the closure during two of its Friday movie nights by hosting up to two food trucks in the closed area. The area is also being planned as a Walk SF-sponsored station for the city's Walk to Work Day, set for Thursday, April 6th.

The SFMTA is also planning at least two community meetings during the period, to engage the public on potential improvements.

What do you think about the idea of permanently closing off access to cars on northbound Octavia between Linden and Hayes? Let us know in the comments.