Castro District News

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Castro Street (between Market and 19th Streets) is one of the most well-known neighborhoods in San Francisco. Not only does it serve as a cozy unique home for the locals and a popular destination for visitors from all over the world, but it is also the epicenter of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) history and a thriving LGBT community. Castro Street is also an important transit-function in San Francisco ; it holds the Castro Muni Metro subway station, F-Line historic streetcar turnaround, and served several Muni bus lines.

With all the hustle and bustle that Castro Street sees everyday, it’s existing design does not adequately accommodate the needs of the thousands of residents and visitors who use it. The comfort and safety of pedestrians is of the highest concern — especially because the sidewalks are so narrow and the streets so busy.

The Castro/Upper Market community, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District and the San Francisco Planning Department have made a giant leap and effort to improving Castro Street.

The current phase of construction is as follows:

Water main replacement:
The new water line is in the ground along the 400 block. The contractor made good progress installing the new water line. Weather permitting, installation of the water line will be complete on the 500 block next week.

Sidewalk demolition:
This past week the contractor began curb/sidewalk demolition work on the Westside of the 400 block. That work will continue on to the 500 block next week. Demolition of the existing curb/sidewalk is necessary so that the utility relocation work can begin.

Utility relocation:
In the coming days, the contractor will send a crew to begin relocating the sewer traps. The sewer traps will be relocated from their existing locations out towards the new curb/sidewalk.

According to the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, the conceptual design will be used to define a first phase set of improvements to be built with funding coming primarily from the Road Repaving and Streets Safety Bond, passed by San Francisco voters in November 2011.

More information and documents regarding the Castro Street Redesign:

[Photos: Steven Kyle Weller / Facebook, SF Planning Dept.]