"We cannot afford to let our small business community bear the brunt of our construction delays and unintended impacts. This construction mitigation package for Chinatown builds on our ongoing efforts to support small businesses throughout the City, and provides specific assistance to help those businesses most impacted by the Central Subway construction," said Mayor Breed. "As we work to make our construction project delivery system more accountable, we are committed to improving transportation in Chinatown and making it easier for residents and visitors to get around."
"I am happy to see the City taking Chinatown's concerns seriously," said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also serves as the Chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board. "They have long been some of the fiercest champions for equitable public transit and pedestrian safety—but certainly not at the cost of losing immigrant small businesses due to construction impacts and delays. These additional support measures, including access to our newly-formed Construction Mitigation Fund, are a direct response to the community's requests."
"Today's announcement will help us move our transportation infrastructure forward while maintaining vibrant merchant corridors," said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). "Thanks to Mayor Breed, Supervisor Peskin, and SFMTA for working to mitigate the impacts on our neighborhoods while the Central Subway is completed."
The comprehensive Central Subway Construction Mitigation Package includes several programs the City has in place to support commercial districts undergoing large City-led infrastructure improvements. The measures are intended to mitigate and lessen the impacts of construction through the provision of financial and technical assistance and the implementation of marketing and related construction mitigation efforts. In Chinatown, the package includes:
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Advertising Campaign to Highlight Chinatown
The SFMTA is working closely with Chinatown Community Development Center and local merchants on an advertising campaign to promote the neighborhood and celebrate Chinatown. The campaign is scheduled to launch at the end of the year to align with the upcoming 2020 Lunar New Year celebrations.
Reestablishing Loading Zones on Stockton
The loading zones and a third vehicle travel lane were returned to Stockton Street between Jackson and Washington Streets, near the subway construction zone. The additional street space will help reduce congestion and improve loading and transit reliability in the area.
Creating a Temporary Bus Stop to Increase Business Access
The SFMTA built a temporary bus stop and loading platform at Washington and Stockton to provide better access to local businesses near the construction impact area in Chinatown. Once the subway construction is completed, it will be permanently relocated to the front of the nearby station.
Community ambassadors and additional construction inspectors or traffic flaggers will be stationed near work zones. They will help improve pedestrian safety and provide additional street monitoring for security and safety purposes. The ambassadors will be at the work zones Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm.
Additional Transportation Resources
Wayfinding signs for the SFMTA's successful "Park and Ride" program that serves Chinatown at the Golden Gateway Garage will be refreshed to highlight the program and location. In addition, the SFMTA is studying an expanded shuttle route that will connect Chinatown to Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach. This shuttle route is designed to bring more visitors to the neighborhoods and will be implemented by the end of the year.
Directed Business Support
Building upon services already provided by OEWD, qualifying merchants near construction zones within the project area will have access to funds to help make business improvements or investments. Funds will range from $5,000 to $10,000 per business, based on the level of construction impact and any previous awards. The directed business support is part of the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund allocated by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year to create a Small Business Construction Mitigation Fund.
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Merchants will continue to have access to one-on-one business consulting and City services. Informational sessions will be scheduled by December to assist merchants applying for construction mitigation funds. OEWD will also conduct door-to-door outreach to impacted small businesses located within the blocks listed below and offer details and instructions on the application process.
- Stockton St. between Sacramento St. and Jackson St. Washington St. between Grant Ave. and Powell St. Powell St. between Clay St. and Jackson St. Clay St. between Grant Ave. and Stockton St.
"While this project will ultimately be a great boon to the community, we know extended construction can be burdensome, especially for merchants," said Malcolm Heinicke, Chair of the SFMTA Board of Directors. "We're deeply grateful for the community's patience and look forward to celebrating this transformational transit project once it opens."
The launch of this program focused on Central Subway impacts serves as an example of how the City can help support small businesses through extended times of construction. OEWD and the SFMTA will develop criteria and mitigation programs for other major long-term infrastructure projects around the City in the coming months.
About Central Subway
The Central Subway Project will improve public transportation in San Francisco by extending the Muni Metro T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown. By providing a direct, rapid transit link between downtown and the existing T Third Line route on 3rd Street, the Central Subway will vastly improve transportation to and from some of the city's busiest, most densely populated areas. When the Central Subway is completed, T Third Line trains will travel mostly underground from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown, bypassing traffic on 4th Street and Stockton Street. Four new stations will be built along the 1.7-mile alignment:
- 4th and Brannan Station at 4th and Brannan Streets (street level) Yerba Buena/Moscone Station at 4th and Folsom Streets (subway) Union Square/Market St. Station on Stockton St. at Union Square (subway) Chinatown Station at Stockton and Washington Streets (subway)
Construction is projected to be finished by summer 2020. Once construction is completed, the SFMTA will begin testing the new subway to make sure it is safe and ready for service. Testing is an intricate process and includes the full integration of complex systems that all need to synchronize and work together. This testing period will last approximately one year and train service is set to open to the public in summer 2021.
For more details about the Central Subway project, visit: www.SFMTA.com/CentralSubway
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