Why S.F.'s Alleys Are About To Become Hotter Than Parklets

It looks like the city’s parklet trend is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outdoor lounging. And those jazzed-up parking spots are about to look downright dinky compared to the city’s newest project: upgrading a bevy of S.F.'s alleys in a major way. How so? The San Francisco Planning Department is initiating a Living Alley Project, a program that will spiffy up a slew of low-traffic streets in Hayes Valley. Which means...time to embrace our inner alley cats!
What exactly is a “living alley"? The Planning Department defines it as a “narrow, low-volume traffic street designed to focus on livability,” but we like to think of it simply as a new place to chill. The goal is to steer pedestrians away from high-traffic streets like Fell and Oak. And, the project will aim to provide alleys with lush greenery so we can get back on good terms with Mother Nature in this urban jungle.
To get an idea of what's to come, Oakland's Temescal Alley is a good place to start. The mini-strip is littered with local boutiques and eateries, from Marisa Haskell jewels to delectable sweets at Doughnut Dolly. We can only hope the Hayes Valley offerings will be similarly awesome. And, if the burgeoning space next to the Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk on tiny Linden Street is any indication, they will be!
So, if this new project is right up your alley, and you’re as antsy as we are to start strolling through 'em, sit tight because we won’t see these hideaway havens come to total fruition for another five years. Now, if only they thought of this five years ago...
Photo: Via Hayes Valley SF

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