Union Square BID - Powell Street

Powell Street is one of the busiest pedestrian corridors in the District. It connects the cable car turnaround, Hallidie Plaza, and the BART/Muni Station to Union Square. In 2011, the BID initiated a pilot program to study the removal of parking spots on Powell Street and its effect on the pedestrian flow during the holiday season. This pilot project was limited to temporary barricades along the street. Due to the limited length of the pilot project installation and the high curb height, the pilot project did not have strong results. The Committee identified the potential for a ‘temporary’ solution to activate the pedestrian realm along Powell Street, called the Powell Street Promenade. The committee proposed a series of sidewalk extensions with seating and planting that elevated the expanded walkway to be flush with the sidewalk. The committee reviewed this concept with multiple City agencies, local property owners and businesses, and received strong support. Following the approval of the conceptual approach, AUDI stepped forward as a sponsor for the promenade. Audi hired Hood Design Studio to refine the design concept to reflect Audi’s use of aluminum in their automobiles. It replaces nearly 4,500 square feet of street parking with pedestrian space. The promenade opened in 2011 with a 5-year time frame.

  • The Powell Street Promenade included removal of parking and replacement with an expanded pedestrian zone was conceptualized by RHAA and implemented by Audi