San Francisco Launches Website to Encourage DIY Urbanism
The San Francisco Better Streets Program launched a new website this week to provide a central source of information to help residents procure street improvements like traffic-calming measures, parklets, bike corrals, plantings, art installations, sidewalk fixtures, and permits for car-free events in their neighborhood.
The website, sfbetterstreets.org, "combines all the city's guidelines, permit requirements, and resources for public space development onto one site, giving the user a handy step-by-step approach toward improving San Francisco's streets," the Planning Department said in a release.
Launched as a collaboration of the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, SF Public Utilities Commission, and the SFMTA, the site should help spread awareness of the street improvements available to residents and guide them through the city's bureaucratic processes.
"Before this website was launched, this information wasn't available. For someone to go through the process, someone would have to go and contact various departments around the city," said Joanna Linsangan, communications manager for the Planning Department. "People may not think they have the ability to do so, but if they want to, they can apply for a parklet, put out bike racks or put out planters in their neighborhood, at their storefront, and we're trying to give them all the information to make it happen."
The site follows the spirit of the 2010 Better Streets Plan, which is aimed at streamlining the process for making improvements to the pedestrian environment. Linsangan said the site was launched during Small Business Week since merchants often show interest in improving the areas around their storefronts.
The website features alluring pages that explain the ins and outs of permit processes, maintenance regulations, planning codes, ways for residents to build neighborhood support for projects, funding sources, and more.
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