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Street Closure Committee Approves First Two Sunday Streets Routes

1:43 PM PDT on March 12, 2009

sunday_streets.jpg

Mayor Newsom overcame a significant hurdle today for his Sunday Streets program as the first two proposed routes received unanimous approval at a meeting of the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT), a committee made up of MTA, DPW, SFPD, SFFD, and others with business on our city's streets.

Wade Crowfoot, the Mayor's Director of Climate Initiatives, made the case that Sunday Streets promotes health and fitness, environmentally sustainable transportation options, and is an important free activity in tough economic times.  He highlighted the significance of garnering support this year from some of last year's most vocal opponents, such as Pier 39 and the Fisherman's Wharf Community Betterment District. 

The monthly ISCOTT meetings underscore just how difficult it is to re-program streets for uses other than vehicular traffic, as committee members peppered supplicants with all manner of minutia, from emergency lane widths and turning radii, to clean-up procedures and pedestrian egress points.  The Mayor's proposal for Sunday Streets, however, was a relatively smooth affair, with SFPD and SFFD clearly already on board and willing partners. 

Asked after the meeting whether the small four-hour window of closures would be lengthened in the future, Crowfoot said that the the Bayview Merchants had clamored for more street-closure time for the May 10th event.  "If we're successful with these first six, I would love to expand the frequency and duration of the events," he said.

Flickr photo: dendowling

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