Imagining McAllister Street narrowed to about 15 feet wide -- the size of the existing sidewalk -- with a row of new houses placed in the existing auto roadway.

Narrowing a Residential Street – McAllister

We will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. – Derived from the Ephebic Oath, Athens, 4th Century BCE I took the image below outside my apartment on the 1400 block of McAllister Street between Scott and Pierce. It’s a pretty ordinary street in San Francisco. The buildings are… Read more →


Paseos de San Francisco

If you’re into people-centric streets, this year’s mayoral election has an interesting candidate in Reed Martin. On his website Grand SF he lays out a vision for reimagined streets that matches up nicely with what I’ve written about here at Narrow Streets SF. Global cities have long recognized that streets are about much more than driving; they sustain our communities.… Read more →

Urban Kchoze 01

Are Sidewalks Even Necessary?

This is a guest post by Simon Vallée. It originally appeared on his blog Urban Kchoze. Habitually, one of the first things considered to indicate a walk-friendly area is the presence, or absence, of sidewalks. In general, if none are present, most assume that the area is thus hostile to pedestrians. That was what I thought too… until I chanced… Read more →

Narrow street with greenery in Paroikia, Greece.

Narrow Streets with Trees

The “after” images in my recent proposal to narrow a residential street such as McAllister didn’t emphasize any street trees or other greenery. The general lack of greenery was one of the more common issues raised, even among many supporters of the broader narrow streets proposal. Of course, plants of all kinds certainly play a role in making a street… Read more →

A map showing 16 acres of Paris superimposed on the Balboa Reservoir development site.

16 Acres of Paris

Just a quick post today. The City of San Francisco is asking for public input on the proposed Balboa Reservoir development site. There is a meeting tonight, Tuesday, May 5th (details here). My idea: Let’s reuse the best parts of Paris — the parks, narrow streets, and mixed-use buildings. With that pattern, the 16-acre site could fit 1000-1500 new dwelling… Read more →

A smaller-than-typical FedEx truck used for express deliveries in American cities.

Deliveries on Narrow Streets

Let’s take a look at some ways that people in Traditional Cities handle package deliveries. Keep in mind their streets are typically narrower than ours, in the range of 8-25 feet wide — or what Nathan Lewis calls a Narrow Street For People. For big delivery companies like FedEx and DHL, operating in the human-scaled environments of Europe or Asia simply… Read more →