SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A portion of Octavia Street in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood will stay closed to vehicles and remain open to bicyclists, Mayor London Breed announced Monday.

The open street portion located on Octavia between Linden and Hayes streets initially began as a pilot project, but will now permanently provide an extension of public space on both sides surrounding the Patricia’s Green park.

“Our neighborhoods deserve to have public spaces that benefit our residents, visitors and local businesses,” Breed said in a statement.

“Before Octavia Street, this was the Central Freeway, a space dedicated to moving cars quickly through this neighborhood. Today, we are creating a space for friends and family to play, shop, and enjoy Hayes Valley. This is one example of our larger efforts to create more open space in San Francisco to benefit the community,” she said.

In addition to the new open street portion of Octavia Street, the Octavia Boulevard Enhancement Project, spearheaded by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, has also added safety features around the area to prioritize biking and walking, including shorter pedestrian crossings and improved intersection visibility.

“Patricia’s Green is the heart of Hayes Valley,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown, who represents the neighborhood. “It is where neighbors and friends meet and dogs and children play. With this project the city expanded the heart of Hayes Valley and made a critical investment in a future in which the community can safely enjoy open space in the center of a thriving dense neighborhood.”

Interim SFMTA Director Tom Maguire said, “Anytime we can add more public space for our city and improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists is a win for everyone. The successful short term closures of Octavia around Patricia’s Green showed us that this truly is an improvement to the area and the added space is a huge upgrade for the neighborhood.”

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