Fisherman's Wharf Statistics:
- 10 million visitors annually to Fisherman's Wharf
- No. 8 tourist attraction in the U.S.
- $12-$15 Estimated cost of redesigning Jefferson Street.
- 10 or 15 mph suggested speed limit
- 100,000 people who walk between PIER 39 and Pier 35 on busy days
- 60,000 people who walk around Fisherman's Wharf on busy days
- 3,259 hotel rooms in the area
- 1 : 7 ratio of vehicles to pedestrians in area at any time
- 1,000 (out of 7,000 total) off-street parking spaces in the area remain vacant, even during peak times
Q - What are the main objectives of the project / major changes to be made?
To create a wharf that is safe, fun, and encourages visitors and locals to stay and enjoy the great restaurants, shops and rich vibrant history and one that responds to the needs of those visitors. The makeover will turn the wharf into one of the world's most beautiful ports and a destination not only for tourists but San Franciscans by creating a five-block esplanade with stone streets, outdoor cafes and sweeping views of the bay. The traffic will be change from one way to two way as to be more pedestrian and bike friendly. Sidewalks along Jefferson Street will be widened, electronic signs will direct motorists to available parking and cars will be allowed but at low speeds, views will be improved by widening the area overlooking the harbor next to Jefferson Street.
Q - How long will this take?
The first phase (Hyde to Jones Street) will take approximately 6 months to complete. (January - June)
Q - Will merchants and visitors pay anything for these improvements?
Q – How will deliveries be handled during and after construction? Will there be any accommodation for businesses that needed a delivery made during off hours, specifically for special circumstances (i.e. the busyness of crab season)?
Early morning deliveries will be the best during contstuction since there will only be one lane of traffic open. Back alleys and side streets will alos need to be utilized. There is no street parking for anyone, except for a loading zone in front of the Argonaut hotel. Commercial loading zones (yellow zones) will be designated on the street and separated or offset so that they don't block the street, and 11am-7pm loading will be prohibited; however, these times are open to discussion for changing to go even later in the day.
Blue curbs for accessible parking and other dedicated spaces will be added on Leavenworth, Hyde and Jones and deliveries can be taken at these locations. Off-street loading can be accommodated at any time of day, but the plan concept is geared towards no stopping on Jefferson Street so as to improve the visitor experience.
During construction some thoughts in discussion are to create areas for trucks to pull off / indentations, and also how the side streets will be managed for deliveries during this time. This will need to be coordinated with merchants and vendors. The DPW will need to know what businesses can take deliveries from the back, and other details in order to move forward; interviews and discussions with businesses will be scheduled.
Q – What about the White Zone on Hyde?
A – 200 linear feet white zone will be designated for the Argonaut Hotel with 100 feet on Jefferson and 100 feet on Hyde.
Q – Will there be any special parking accommodations for business owners or patrons with physical disabilities.
A – There is no street parking for anyone, except for a loading zone in front of the Argonaut hotel, but there will be an increased number of accessible parking on side streets adjacent to Jefferson Street. There will also be door-to-door access for anyone in need for drop-offs or pick-ups which is one of the reasons why the two lanes each way on Jefferson Street will be helpful. There will also be public signage / messaging to make people aware of this option.
Q – Will tour buses and trolleys continue to be allowed on Jefferson Street past Jones / and how will tour bus circulation be managed?
A – The current loading zones on Leavenworth will remain and tour buses will be required to make a left hand turn on Leavenworth or Hyde. Each bus will only be allowed to go down one block of Jefferson Street between Jones and Hyde. This was decided upon a verbal agreement with Craig Vandermause, Executive Director of the SF Tour Bus Association. Legislation of this agreement might be difficult and any signage to do so is not preferable (to keep in line with the open streets concept). The street width is 24 feet which allows for 2 cars and one bus at any given time.
A – Bicycles will be allowed on Jefferson Street past Jones. The bicycles do slow traffic down but that is to the advantage of the street which has been designed to be a slow speed area so people spend more time and are able to enjoy a less hectic and easier pace which encourages pedestrians and non motor vehicles. Motor vehicles will be notified by special signage of parking availability so as to be deterred from continuing down Jefferson Street in an effort to find parking.
Q – Will there be any non-unplanned emergency street shutdowns after construction?
A – Only for festivals and other special events that have permission. Advance notice will be provided by the City or the CBD if it is an event they are producing.
Q – Jefferson will become a two-way street, but will Hyde, Leavenworth and Jones change?
A – Hyde will become a two-way street, while Leavenworth and Jones will remain as two-way streets.
Q – Will public transit lines change / be affected?
A – Not as of now, although there is a possibility of rerouting MUNI up Jones as opposed to going all the way down to Hyde and Jones may eventually become a one-way street.
Q - What kinds of considerations have been made for the potential traffic challenges of changing Jefferson from a one-way to a two-way street?
A – There will be traffic control officers on the weekends June through August who will monitor the traffic and if needed, direct traffic to make a right or left turn onto Powell Street from Jefferson Street and the Embarcadero respectively so Jefferson Street specifically does not get flooded. Currently the DPW is using very sophisticated Syncrom traffic mapping technology (used all over the city) to figure out the best options for the area.
Q – How will intersections, stop lights and signs be effected by the plan; specifically it is very difficult to turn onto Leavenworth because of constant flow of people with no formalized control over them at the intersection?
A – Everything will stay the same as it is now. A stop light or sign will be considered at the intersection of Jefferson and Leavenworth, which will be monitored closely, if deemed necessary but less infrastructure is desired for the plan. Parking signage, bigger sidewalks, and two-lane streets have all been designed to help reduce traffic flow.
Q – Will there be meters on Hyde Street?
A – Currently the plani is to have the west side of Hyde street remain the same. On the east side of the street a portion will be a northbound lane (to roughly the mid block mark) and the remaining will be changed from a bus loading zone to a passenger loading/unloading zone.
Q – Will there be cars allowed in front of the swim club?
A – Yes, cars will be allowed in front of the swim club.
Q – Are all the trees on the south side of the street being cut down?
A – Although the final design called for the removal of all trees on the south side of Jefferson Street between Hyde and Jones Street, the design was revisited in August of 2012 and only 3 trees in front of the Argonaut will be removed (due to ADA requirements) All other trees will remain although any trees that deemed unhealthy will be replaced.
Q – Why are there no Café specific zones designated for the South side of Jefferson Street, as they are for the North side of Jefferson Street?
A – Because there is a fifteen-foot complimentary sidewalk on South side that will allow for extra outdoor seating, so there is no need to create café specific zones there.
Q – How will the lighting be for the new plan?
A – New pedestrian scale lighting will be installed along the entire sidewalk on both sides of the street parallel to one another across the street. Trees will be removed. The flower baskets will be able to hang from the light posts which will be tall enough to hold them but short enough to provide quality lighting.
Q – Why are the trees being removed on the sidewalk of Jefferson Street?
A – Some are not healthy and need to be removed, businesses also request them to be removed because they are a nuisance to their business and a hazard / obstacle for pedestrians who sometimes trip over or walk into them, and removing the trees will increase the sidewalk walking space. The flower baskets hanging from the new light posts will also fill in the gap of the missing trees. Without the trees lighting will be better on the street. Overall, the removal of the trees will create more of an open space, improve views and be more pedestrian friendly.
Q – What about bike racks?
A – There will be new and more attractive U-shaped bike racks installed near the light fixtures.
Q – How will the new sidewalks look / vary depending on the street and location and how will this effect business and pedestrians?
A – There are varying heights on the sidewalks requiring stairs and barriers but will be built so that they can be sat on and enjoyed as opposed to being eyesores and a nuisance. The design is comfortable and attractive while meeting functional and form requirements. The barriers and gradients will not block access and should not have a negative effect on businesses, instead they should be thought of mostly as a nice new face to the existing ramps existing only where the buildings sit higher than the sidewalks (does not exist from Leavenworth to Hyde).
Q – Where will construction start?
A – Construction is scheduled to begin after Fleet Week and will start with PG&E work between Jones and Leavenworth. Since there are two businesses on the north side of the street whose peak season begins with the opening of Crab Season on November 15th, contstruction will begin on the South side of the street as to provide them minimal disruption in their busiest time of year.
Q – What about construction during holidays?
A – DPW engineers say that it will most likely need to be done during Thanksgiving and through the New Years otherwise the construction will go into the Summer.
Q – How will the businesses function during the construction?
A – There will be a plan worked out with all of the businesses affected to make it work as best as possible for each individual business; times / seasonal scheduling, bridges will be installed if necessary to keep businesses accessible, etc. The goal is to maintain pedestrian access almost the whole time, and also delivery access. The DPW team will work with the community regarding these details going forward.
Q – Will there be unplanned / planned utility incidents / concerns and if so how will those be handled and / or scheduled?
A – Yes, there will be planned / unplanned utility incidents / shutdowns, etc. and they may happen at any time. The DPW will work with the community to best arrange any planned shutdowns. As far as the unplanned emergency utility incidents – they will be handled as best as possible by DPW who will communicate with all affected parties and work closely with them and the utilities / contractor on the matter. DPW will be very aware and sensitive to planning, scheduling, and communicating / working with local community. Providing advance notice and being proactive is a priority.
Q – What other forms of community outreach and communication might be helpful?
A – The newjeffersonstreet.com website will be the primary medium for delivering information, timelines and construction alerts to the community.