Speaking before a crowd of about 100 people at Showplace Triangle Plaza, which was officially opened today, along with Guerrero Park, Mayor Newsom praised the Pavement to Parks plazas as examples of the kind of reclamation of space that could dramatically improve San Francisco’s livability.
"It’s an idea that really comes from all of you, from the community, because you’ve been demanding that we begin to democratize our streets in a little different way," he said, prompting loud cheers from the crowd. "Who said that every single street that’s paved has to be a street that has a priority exclusively for automobiles? I mean, who decided that? And when was that decided? And why not take a look at that and reconsider those decisions?"
Showplace Triangle, located at 8th Street between 16th and Irwin Streets, and Guerrero Park, at San Jose and Guerrero Streets, are the city’s second and third Pavement to Parks projects, following the Castro Commons park at 17th and Market Streets, which has quickly become a popular addition to the neighborhood. Each project was designed by different landscape architects with input by the communities where they are situated.
Since their opening, the trial street reclamations have proven very popular among the public. In Showplace Triangle, data collected by the Great Streets Project show a 29 percent increase in pedestrians walking through the plaza, a 40 percent increase in the number of survey respondents who had a positive perception of the neighborhood, and a 61 percent increase among people who considered Showplace Triangle a good place to stop, relax and socialize. The number of users who felt a sense of community character in the area rose 39 percent.