City Agencies Unveil Final Design for Bartlett “Mercado Plaza”

Images: Planning Department

The final designs for a people-friendly block of Bartlett Street in the Mission were presented [PDF] last week by the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, the SFMTA, and the design firm Rebar. The plan retains the sidewalk extensions that are key to calming traffic and inviting social activity outside of events like the weekly Mission Community Market, when the block is closed to cars.

The project still depends, however, on the SF Fire Department’s approval of the 14-foot roadway. SFFD has opposed narrowing the road below the state Fire Code minimum of 20 feet of unobstructed roadway. Department officials say it could inhibit emergency vehicle access, even though a number of other states and cities use 12-foot minimums without problems. The curbs on the lightly-trafficked block would also be less than six inches high — easily mountable by emergency vehicles — which will no longer be considered an obstruction by the city under legislation recently passed by the Board of Supervisors, set to go into effect at an unknown date.

A few residents at last week’s meeting re-stated their complaints about the plan’s removal of 21 on-street parking spaces on Bartlett to make room for more public space. City staffers, however, displayed a chart showing that the 350-space garage and parking spots on Bartlett are rarely full. A few other residents voiced continued support for the replacement of car parking with pedestrian space.

A future Barlett Street on a regular day.

An overview of the street plan, seen on a regular day (top) and an event day (bottom). Click to enlarge.

“We think that the trade-offs are well worth it to have a complete street that is safe, inviting, and fun to use,” said DPW planner John Dennis.

The project is set to be constructed from April 2014 through the end of the year, while temporary pilot treatments will be installed this year as part of the city’s Pavement to Parks program. City planners said they will aim to create a “gateway” feel at the block’s entrance at Bartlett and 22nd Streets by designing a graphic to cover the roadway at the intersection. The preliminary design will be installed using temporary materials before a final design, including raised crosswalks, is installed.

Other improvements set for this year include a marquee sign hanging over the entrance, temporary seating installations, and an on-street stage. The Planning Department, DPW, and Mission Community Market organizers also plan to develop a slate of public events on the block in the coming months.

Bartlett during a market night.

  • I wonder if this space might be used as part of the Street Food Festival?

  • Hooray!

  • Henry

    Oh man, this looks nice! Another street that deserves this treatment is Grant Avenue in Chinatown.

  • mikesonn

    Standing on it right now and the steady stream of cars is disappointing.

  • Mario Tanev

    There is a doner stand at the example market? I’m in.

  • This is really nice but i wish i would see it in real

  • Bob Gunderson

    It’s an ok balance, but it would be a better balance if it were all parked cars instead.

  • Dan

    Great story Aaron, thanks for posting. $1900 from the Mission Repair Fund was earmarked for the project through Neighborland –

  • 94110

    FYI, construction on Bartlett has finally started. So far it’s the west half of the road and sidewalk demolished.


Wiener’s Proposals to Streamline Ped Safety Upgrades Pass Supes Committee

A package of legislation aimed at cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that encumbers the city’s progress on life-saving pedestrian safety measures was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee yesterday. The full board is expected to approve the proposals in the coming weeks. Supervisor Scott Wiener, who proposed […]

SFFD Not Sure What Delays Responses: “There Might Just Be More Cars”

An official from the SF Fire Department explained SFFD’s position on bulb-outs and road diets last week to the SF Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee. According to Assistant Deputy Chief Ken Lombardi, the department’s main concern isn’t about curb extensions, but raised “hardscape” structures like planters or railings that can prevent a fire truck from mounting […]

SFFD “Imposing the Authority” to Demand Wider, Speedier Streets

The debate over whether San Francisco’s streets should be wider and less safe just to accommodate fire trucks was aired publicly at a City Hall hearing yesterday. Livable streets advocates and Supervisor Scott Wiener, who called the hearing, challenged the SF Fire Department’s insistence on wider roadways, particularly its recent eleventh-hour push to change street widths that […]