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Car-free Hayes Street to continue for now as San Francisco walks back reopening plan

Pedestrians walk the streets of Hayes Valley, a central San Francisco neighborhood. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

A block of Hayes Street will remain closed to cars for at least another month, local supervisor Dean Preston announced in a Tuesday press release.

The announcement comes hours after reporting by The Standard revealed local business owners were concerned about the reopening of Hayes Street to cars starting Monday.

Preston said the city's transit agency, which runs the street's "Shared Spaces" program, agreed to postpone the cutoff date after pressure from his office and the community in letters to the transit agency's leadership.

"Car-free streets have brought joy to families and residents throughout the city, and the Hayes Valley Shared Spaces program has for nearly three years been a transformative example of how we can transform our streets for the benefit of the entire community," Preston said in a Tuesday press release announcing the change.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also chimed in on Tuesday over Twitter that one block of Hayes Street between Octavia and Gough streets will remain car-free on the weekends while a long-term plan is hashed out.

Hayes Street's closure to cars runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The program began in August 2020 and stretched three blocks from Laguna to Franklin streets when it first launched.

Jennifer Laska, head of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

"I'm obviously very pleased with the decision and look forward to working on long-term solutions so we can keep this cherished program," said Jennifer Laska, head of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.