Home » City Guide » , , , ,

SF’s Central Freeway Might Be Torn Down

Imagine a new neighborhood hub with new housing, public transit, protected bike paths, and new green space
By - posted 5/31/2024 No Comment

San Francisco’s Central Freeway (the stub of 101 that runs from the 280 to Octavia over Division Street) might get torn down and replaced with a park.

Vision Blvd is a grassroots San Francisco campaign, calling for the complete removal of the Central Freeway and replace it with abundant new housing, new public transit opportunities, and new green space. This will dramatically transform an important centrally-located corridor into a beautiful, safe, and vibrant new boulevard, with a new set of neighborhood features that benefit the entire city. Once the freeway is removed, a vital region of the city will be transformed into a thriving and beautiful neighborhood hub, serving locals and visitors alike.

It is a vestige of antiquated transportation infrastructure that has blighted San Francisco communities for decades. It currently looms over 13th and Division Streets, dividing the Mission and SoMa districts, while blocking potential housing development. Its presence results in significant local pollution that affects nearby residents, and four of the ten most dangerous intersections in San Francisco are part of or underneath the Central Freeway.

In honor of the campaign effort, Vision Blvd is hosting a block party on June 1 from 10 am to 2 pm at Elgin Park with food trucks, music, kids activities, and a few other goodies.

Explore The Vision
It’s long been City policy to explore alternatives to the freeway, and the benefits upon its removal would be undeniable. There would be opportunities for desperately needed new housing, an expansion of public transit, and new parks within an SF neighborhood that is afforded the least amount of green space in the city.

We are currently working with city and state agencies, as well as San Francisco residents, to make Vision Blvd a reality as soon as possible—not ten or twenty years down the road. And given the current local and national interest in removing transportation infrastructure that causes community harm, we believe the time is now to remove the Central Freeway, and show the world that San Francisco is serious about doing its 7 x 7 part to create a safe, livable, functional, and beautiful city for all.

The Vision
Vision Blvd has clear goals: New housing, new public transit, new protected bike paths, and new green space featured along an upgraded one-mile-long boulevard. A true neighborhood that makes all San Franciscans proud.

Community-led input
There are many proposed plans for the current 13th and Division Streets, post-Central Freeway removal. The plans here are possibilities, and any final plan will encompass a variety of ideas from expert planners and community input.

Parks & Public Space
Integral to Vision Boulevard is the creation of much-needed parks for the surrounding communities of SoMa and The Mission which currently suffer from a lack of access to public parks within walking distance.

With upzoning of land uses along the corridor, many soft sites and parking lots would be ripe for new housing development. Value capture of private parcels and sale of public parcels could help finance the Vision Boulevard project. Previous infrastructure projects, like the Octavia Blvd and the Transbay redevelopment plans, were financed in similar ways.