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César Chavez: From Traffic Sewer to a Safer, Greener Neighbor

June 25, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join Walk San Francisco for its monthly members walk led by CC Puede’s Fran Taylor and guest speaker Bonnie Ora Sherk of A Living Library, for an exploration of place-making activism and local hydrology.

Learn how local neighbors formed CC Puede, a grassroots community-based organization, to push city officials to take advantage of a major sewer replacement and streetscape project to reimagine this expressway.

Originally known as Army Street,  César Chávez Street, on the southern edge of the Mission, was once a treeless freeway feeder funneling six lanes of fast, loud traffic through several residential neighborhoods. Families crossing to local elementary schools, daycare centers, and health facilities braved a street clearly not intended for pedestrians. In fact, residents found vehicles crashed into their homes with alarming frequency.

Nearly a decade after CC Puede began its campaign in 2005, community members have successfully reclaimed César Chávez as a safe, shared space for people walking, biking, and taking transit. Now redone, the street has garnered numerous accolades, including the ‘Transportation Project of 2014” by The Institute of Transportation Engineers, the “Best Street Transformation” by Streetsblog SF, and the “Best Pedestrian/Bicycle Project” of the year by the California Transportation Foundation, ahead of 98 other nominations from around the state.

Today, César Chávez is a transformed corridor. As you wind your way along this redesigned street, you can compare the “after” in real-time with “before” images from an extensive handout. Speakers will also demystify the remnants of the creek system that still lurk below César Chávez and the nearby U.S. 101 freeway maze. Hear firsthand from longtime residents and workers, who will give their perspective on how the changed thoroughfare feels for those who use it every day.

The mostly flat, two-mile walk will start at St. Luke’s Hospital and make its way along César Chávez past Bryant and on to the infamous freeway exchange known as the “hairball,” with a stairway climb there for a view from Bernal Heights.

The walk will end at Balmy Alley.


Walk SF’s monthly members walk begins on Saturday, June 25th from 10:00 am to noon – walk will proceed rain or shine, barring high winds or dangerous weather.


Location: St. Luke’s Hospital

What to bring?

  • Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes
  • Carry rain gear and sunhat as needed­
  • Stock sunblock, water, and personal snacks

Entrance Fee

FREE for Walk SF members; $10 minimum donation per person for non-members. Space is limited; RSVP required.


June 25, 2016
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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