The City is still moving forward with a proposal to overhaul a busy thoroughfare at Fisherman’s Wharf even though once-ambitious plans to renovate San Francisco’s waterfront have been scaled back due to financial issues with the upcoming America’s Cup.
Jefferson Street handles thousands of tourists and sightseers every day, but its sidewalks have trouble handling the crowds. City planners have proposed a two-block rebuild to widen sidewalks, remove on-street parking and introduce two-way traffic to make the area safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. The project will take place between Hyde and Jones streets.
The overhaul was intended to coincide with larger plans to renovate the waterfront as part of developments related to the America’s Cup, an international sailing competition that begins this summer. However, projects were dramatically reduced last month when planned investments were scaled back from $111 million to $10 million to $18 million.
The Jefferson Street plan will move along as originally scheduled.
Neil Hrushowy of the Planning Department said the project is still scheduled to begin this fall and be completed in 2013, in time for the finals of the America’s Cup.
Funding for the $4 million to $5 million rebuild has yet to be identified, but local officials are actively reaching out to possible sources, Hrushowy said.
“It was always the plan to remake Jefferson Street, the America’s Cup just acted as the catalyst,” Hrushowy said. “Everyone is still very excited with moving forward with this project.”