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  • Chinatown Alleyway Renovation Program
  • Chinatown Alleyway Renovation Program

Chinatown Alleyway Renovation Program

Public Works commissioned the Chinatown Alleyway Master Plan in 1998 with the goal of advancing safety and vitality in the iconic San Francisco neighborhood. Authored by the nonprofit Chinatown Community Development Center, the plan provides guidelines for the renovation of 31 alleys in Chinatown.

The conceived alleyway renovation project proposals were designed to reduce illegal parking and vehicle access in order to improve pedestrian safety; improve access for the older adults and people with disabilities; reduce illegal dumping through the consolidation of dumpster areas; create open space with welcoming landscaping and public seating;  provide attractive and safe secondary streets for tourists to invigorate local businesses; and improve the overall quality of life for Chinatown residents.

Since the adoption of the Chinatown Alleyway Master Plan, 12 alleyway improvements have been completed to date. They include Jack Kerouac, Waverly Place (two blocks), John, Commercial, Ross, Cordelia Hang Ah, Pagoda, Beckett, Wentworth and Cooper.  The transformation of these public spaces benefits the  multitude of tourists who visit the historic neighborhood, along with the nearly 20,000 residents who live and work in Chinatown. San Francisco's Chinatown is one of the nation's most densely populated neighborhoods outside of Manhattan.

Current efforts are underway to implement the Master Plan improvements on Spofford, Ross, and Trenton alleyways.

Spofford Street is receiving a major upgrade through a partnership between Public Works and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Currently under construction and expected to be completed in the Summer of 2017, Spofford is receiving stormwater-collecting planters, new pedestrian street lighting, bench seating, raised crosswalks on Clay and Washington streets and ADA-compliant concrete pavers. The project is funded through the voter-backed 2011 Road Repaving & Street Safety Bond.

Ross and Trenton alleys are currently in the planning and outreach phase, and will receive upgrades in late summer/early fall 2017. Potential improvements include paving, lighting and beautification elements. If you are interested in receiving project updates on Ross and Trenton alleys, please click HERE to sign up.

The remaining alleys will continue to be included in the City's 10-year Capital Plan, which identifies, analyzes and prioritizes capital improvements citywide. When additional funds are identified, future improvements will be implemented.

Streets & Streetscapes
STATUS In Progress
31 alleys in Chinatown
Start Date February 1999
Chinatown Community Development Center
Project Manager
Mike Rieger, (415) 558-4492
Project Team

San Francisco Public Works