Pedestrians & merchants along Chinatown’s Stockton St get some breathing room for the festive Chinese New Year

January 16, 2013
Contact: Rachel Gordon, 415-554-6045


Third Annual Sidewalk Merchandise Display Holiday Program Runs January 17-30

San Francisco, CA -- The City’s successful Stockton Street Pedestrian Enhancement Program will return for a third year, increasing the space along the sidewalks of this bustling Chinatown commercial corridor to accommodate the flourishing number of tourists, shoppers and activity during the weeks that lead up to Chinese New Year on Friday, Jan. 31.

This program has the backing of Mayor Ed Lee and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. It will begin on Jan. 17 and continue until Jan. 30 to help usher in the Year of the Horse.

With a special permit, merchants along Stockton Street, from Broadway to Sacramento streets, will be able to set up their merchandise displays in the curbside parking spaces fronting their businesses. This opportunity will temporarily widen the sidewalks to provide more space, safety and comfort for pedestrians as they promenade and shop.

“We want to ensure that Chinatown is ready for the Lunar New Year, one of the busiest times of the year, by increasing the space on City sidewalks for pedestrians to keep them safe as they shop and explore one of San Francisco’s most diverse and unique neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lee. “The Year of the Horse is a time for setting our sights on the future and committing to efforts that continue our progress together, and we will support our small businesses with this program that will boost our local economy.”

Added Chiu, the District 3 supervisor who represents the neighborhood, “As the program enters its third year, we are seeing the establishment of a new tradition in Chinatown around Chinese New Year. The program creates a fun, comfortable and safe experience during the holiday for visitors, and helps businesses thrive.”

From Jan. 17 to Jan. 30, curbside parking will be prohibited in the program area between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to accommodate merchandise displays. Muni service through the area will not be disrupted.

San Francisco Public Works, the Police Department, the Department of Public Health and the Municipal Transportation Agency will have employees on the ground to ensure the streets are kept safe for visitors to the area.

“The program is a great solution to help absorb the spike in sidewalk activity during the Chinese New Year season,” said Public Works chief Mohammed Nuru. “This represents a community-supported initiative to keep the corridor safe with minimal disruptions and a swell of benefits for the neighborhood.”

The program is a partnership between the City and the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese American Association of Commerce, Chinatown Merchants Association, Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Community Youth Center and Recology.

“We’re all pleased with how the Stockton Street program has turned out over the past few years,” said Pius Lee, co-chair of the Chinatown Neighborhood Association. “Merchants and the community have responded with praise and the positive impact in the neighborhood has been great.”

To ensure the program’s success, deliveries along the corridor must be scheduled before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. In addition to the temporary prohibition of curbside parking, no delivery trucks will be able to park or stop on Stockton Street in the program area between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., and double-parking restrictions will be strictly enforced along Stockton Street and the streets that feed into Stockton Street to make sure that traffic is not obstructed. Health inspectors will assure that food items are properly displayed.

About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right of way; and educates our communities.