400 Block of Hayes Street Weekend Closure

Update November 19th

Last week this resolution was passed and adopted by the SFMTA board; because concerns and questions have emerged from this we will be continuing to monitor this initiative and provide updates accordingly. At this time we encourage you to sign and share our citywide petition to stave off a permanent street closure on Hayes St.


We urge every San Franciscan who believes in a fair and equitable process for SFMTA initiatives/policies that impact Neighborhood Small Business and Residents to show support.

Update November 3rd

This matter will be heard Tuesday November 7th at 1pm. Please show your support. Demand that the SFMTA board approve the 1 day programming that its own AGENCY studied, review and recommended BASED ON OUTREACH TO MERCHANTS.

Update October 29th

October 17th SFMTA Board Meeting Summary:
As you know, the Hayes Street Closure was heard at last week’s SFMTA Board meeting. The hearing was for a resolution to consolidate the closure to 1 day from the current 3 day schedule. 

Where we are now:
This matter has been deferred to the November 7th director’s meeting to be reheard and voted on then. While not set in stone, the resolution currently on the table has been amended from 1 day to 2 (adding Friday back). There is also a motion to conduct a study within 6 months to implement a permanent closure on Hayes Street.

Takeaways from what we heard at the meeting:

  • The permit holder has been in violation of the permit conditions since inception.
  • Emergency access is a critical issue that needs addressing.
  • Budget and staffing for the closure is an issue per SFMTA.
  • Director Manny Yekutiel inserted himself as an expert of what is good for Hayes Valley — claiming he has communicated with many businesses in our neighborhood (we have yet to hear from one that has).

A few bullet points on our perspective based on 3 years of advocacy on this initiative:

  • Those advocating to maintain a full time weekend closure or permanent closure boast a high level of success in spite of what we have witnessed over the last year — a one block closure that is dormant more than not while traffic issues in our neighborhood are exacerbated by this closure.
  • What Supervisor Dean Preston has thrown under the bus no pun intended:
    Small Business: by making THE claim that broad support for this closure exists (while not going out on foot to talk to small businesses); we have heard otherwise. Note: the Office of Small Business conducted door to door outreach with merchants; SFMTA’s recommendation factored in that feedback.
    Community Process: He referenced a ‘lack of notice” by the SFMTA all the while he was “spearheading” a petition for a car free Hayes Street with the HVNA Dean Preston on X & Examiner (https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/the-city/sf-advocates-push-for-permanently-car-free-hayes-street/article_75c8231c-5bf5-11ee-8ffa-b37ac47e70c6.html) Note: it was confirmed by other City Offices that he was in the loop on the stakeholder engagement process; we too had communicated our role in the ongoing process with his office.
    Throughout the entirety of the street closure period we’ve been advocating for a fair and equitable process; having had a seat at the table this last few months with City Agencies we have witnessed first hand how the HVNA, HVMA/C and the Supervisor’s Office made an end run on a process led by Mayor London Breed’s Office. To briefly summarize: as a means of allowing the engagement by all participants/stakeholders a fair/even playing field — we were given explicit instructions to not go to the press. Our engagement in this process began at the end of July and on Sept 6th a petition was initiated by the HVNA (Author Andrew Seigner is a HVNA board member) and began to circulate. Subsequently the maneuver by the press/Examiner to point to the petition aided in promoting the petition further which in our view resulted in making this a citywide issue vs a neighborhood issue.
    Our Supervisor used the response of a petition he co-opted and promoted to claim broad support for a permanent street closure on our business corridor which will have major impacts both on residents who live near Hayes Street and small business operators who have not been yielded an equitable opportunity/right to express their position/experience without fear of retaliation. The continuance of operating a viable small business in Hayes Valley is currently under threat and he’s MIA.
    The Bus: he did not prioritize the 21 Bus – in fact he said using it as a reason to not continue the closure is a joke.
  • Worth noting: the petition while encouraging support in preparation for the SFMTA board meeting references signers are not all from San Francisco — which raises questions about community process and fair representation in governance for a neighborhood when a petition is being used as a means to out maneuver process led by City Hall.
  • In our view/opinion HVSafe and the HVSBA were undermined because the HVNA/HVMA/C & the Supervisor chose to further politicize this issue.
  • Our supervisor was well aware of the concerns/opposition and the negative financial impacts small business operators endured throughout the span of this incubator project. We find the insistence for an expansion of the closure or an effort to permanently close the street super insensitive to the history of advocacy efforts for the 500 and 300 block that shaped the current closure programming. Yet here we are facing a battle royale over a 1 block closure with a proposed option to explore a 24/7 closure. We maintain our position of being in support of a reset on the programming to establish a level of success for the neighborhood and small business. We demand that the SFMTA Board approve the 1 day programming that its own AGENCY studied, reviewed and recommended.
  • Our relationship remains steadfast with our community – not the media. The media basks in controversy and they surely helped create one here in Hayes Valley. It’s sad that a democratic process initiated by the Mayor was hijacked by 1 supervisor, 2 neighborhood associations and the press.

You can watch the meeting at the following link: https://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/player/clip/44682
Go to 10.2 • SFMTA presentation starts at : 1:47:00  (SFMTA slide deck)

We’ve pointed out some of the key commenters below for you to better understand the positions put forth by those representing our neighborhood as well as those that are activists with their own agendas. It is also worth noting that collectively the turnout by HVSafe, HVSBA (Hayes Valley Small Business Association), HVNA and the HVMA/C was split down the middle — a greater turnout of support for a closure on Our Main Street came from those outside Hayes Valley zip codes.

  • Fire Marshall: 2:08: 33 (fire dept access discussed)
  • Marianne Thompson, Office of Small Business: 2:12:00 (she spoke up about process/outreach and concerns of sole proprietors – and their fear of speaking up/being bullied about this initiative)
  • Public Comment: 2:17:00
  • Jen Laska, HVNA president: 2:19:35
  • Andrew Seigner, HVNA (petition lead for a “permanent car free Hayes”):2:21:30
  • Magie Crystal, Hayes Valley Small Business Association, Independent Hayes Valley Business Operator and Hayes Valley Resident 2:25:20
  • LLoyd Silverstein, Permit Applicant, HVNA/HVMA/C 2:28:05  (claims SFMTA survey was biased)
  • Beau Timken, Hayes Valley Small Business Association, Independent Hayes Valley Business Operator and Hayes Valley Resident 2:32:20 
  • Dean Preston: 3:19:40


We want to address a few points regarding inaccuracies with recent communications by the HVMA/C:

  1. Outreach/surveys by the Office of Small Business, HVSafe and HVSBA did not corroborate support for “an extension or expansion”. A majority were in support of a reset to a 1 day programming schedule. (LLoyd Silverstein has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of understanding of the terms of engagement throughout this process and has continued to assert statements that are counter with assessments/information put forth by the SFMTA, the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Small business.
  2. This subject is open to review and a vote by SFMTA. It is not open to a vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

This is a fluid situation. We’ll report back with further details and updates.

In our forthcoming updates we will drill down further on the potential harmful impacts a permanent closure could have on small business, neighborhood affordability and traffic in Hayes Valley.

Update: October 14th

Over the course of the last two and a half months we have worked with SFMTA, the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Small Business to provide input and to facilitate your feedback for the next phase of the Hayes St. closure.

SFMTA has announced the following recommendations:

  • Consolidate the street closure from three days a week to Saturdays from 1pm-10pm. We heard from some merchants that access to their businesses was being impacted by the recurring 3-day closure. The 3-day closure was also limiting emergency access by the Fire Department and impacting operations of the 21-Hayes Muni line. A one-day closure will allow the permit sponsor to focus their resources on creating a successful, consolidated event while accommodating the multitude of needs on the street during the other weekend times.
  • Incorporate activities to activate the block and bring more people to the neighborhood. A shared street should bring people together – and we’ve asked the permit sponsor to organize activities such as music, games, and artists that enliven the space and create a destination.  
  • Add new cones, barricades, signage and wayfinding at Gough and Octavia streets to minimize the double parking that has impacted emergency access and circulation. The SFMTA will provide new signs to help traffic navigate the street closure and a new barricade set-up to discourage people from double parking at the entrances. The agency will also prioritize new loading zone spaces near the Hayes intersections of Octavia and Gough to create more pick-up and drop-off zones and clearly delineate where food pickup activity should occur.  
  • Monitor the closure. The City has asked the permittee to monitor the street closure to ensure people use it safely and do not drive through the closed street or double park at the cones and block emergency access.  

These recommendations will be addressed by the SFMTA Board on Tuesday October 17th at 1pm. We encourage you to support the modifications by email or public comment.

Update: September 12th

We want to address a few points regarding current communications which are presently in circulation regarding the street closure:

  • The survey by the HVMA/Council/HVNA polling interest on an “expansion” of the program to the 500 and 300 is insensitive to the history of advocacy efforts that shaped the current closure programming; we find this problematic since an expansion to other blocks is not part of the current proposal that is on the table. Additionally, language stating a “no response will be considered a“vote” to continue Shared Streets for this block of Hayes Street and its current schedule” does not suggest an equitable input value and is a bit nonsensical.
  • The petition by the HVNA stating that the closure may end soon is inaccurate considering there is a proposal on the table to continue it with an updated programming schedule. Note: the HVNA is not only seeking to expand the closure to the 300 and 500 Hayes (based on image depictions) they are are also seeking to close these blocks permanently 24/7.

related reads: our advocacy efforts on the 500 block of Hayes & 300 block of Hayes

400 block of Hayes Street, August 5 2023

As noted below, we’ve been in communications with the Agencies about a re-calibration of a closed street programming for the 400; the goal of our engagement effort is to provide input for this program so it can be successful, community serving, and beneficial to both residents and merchants.

We appreciate having a seat at the table.

We want to underscore that throughout the entirety of the street closure on Hayes (including the closures on the 500 and 300 block) we’ve been advocating for a fair and equitable process. Our concern has always been that the process for a program that was rolled out as temporary during a pandemic was never clearly defined. In our view defining it now after three years of programming is a sound goal.

To date 95% of the respondents who have participated in our outreach questionnaire have opted to either share feedback exclusively with the Mayor’s Office/SFMTA or with anonymity – further highlighting how politicized this issue has become.

We’re reopening our outreach form today.

September 5th
We have been in communications with SFMTA and the Mayor’s Office regarding the possible continuation of the weekend street closure on the 400 block of Hayes St. We are doing outreach in the vicinity to gather feedback.

Current street closure programming schedule is Friday 4-10 pm and Saturdays/Sundays 10am-10pm.

A permit renewal is being considered with the following conditions and modifications:

  • Friday street closure will be discontinued (due to the 21 Bus being reinstated on Hayes).
  • Modified day and hours: the closure will be limited to Saturday or Sunday only with a maximum 8 hour programming schedule.
  • Street Activation: an agreed upon plan for events/programming on the 400 block is being asked of the permittee (HVNA/HVMA/Council).
  • Barricades: an updated barricade scheme will be required to deter drivers from double parking at the cones.
  • Barricade Staffing: the permittee will be required to have hired staffing.
  • Wayfinding Recommendations: SFMTA is recommending a “No Right Ahead” sign on southbound Gough as well as additional “No Parking” signs.  SFMTA will also recommend that the 400 block restaurants place informational signage on “A frames” to direct drivers where pickups should legally occur.
  • Additional loading: SFMTA is identifying approved and new loading zones to support pick-up/drop-off needs for passengers and delivery drivers.
  • Directions and Parking Recommendations: SFMTA is recommending the permittee put together a directions and parking map for visitors.

Note: we are only asking for input for the street closure on the 400 block of Hayes.

The feedback period has ended.

We will continue to keep you updated on this initiative.