Leland Avenue Street Design Project

Leland Avenue Links:

Leland Ave Home

Project Area Map

Project Fact Sheet


Better Streets Program - Leland Avenue banner

See the Preferred Design

See the Final Report

Project Background

Working with the Visitacion Valley community, the Planning Department led a process to design detailed streetscape improvements to Leland Avenue, the neighborhood "main street" of Visitacion Valley.

Leland Avenue Existing Conditions

Stretching approximately four blocks from Bayshore Boulevard to Cora Street, the Leland Avenue commercial district contains many neighborhood-serving businesses and civic uses such as a post office and library; however, there are many underutilized sites and retail vacancies, and the street has an undistinguished visual environment.

Leland Project Area Map

The Leland Avenue project developed street improvements to enhance the street's aesthetic appeal and help to revitalize its commercial businesses, in concert with business assistance work concurrently going on for Leland Avenue, led by the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development and others.

Specific design improvements include new street trees and other plantings, street furniture, pedestrian lighting, corner bulb-outs and other traffic calming strategies, paving and crosswalk improvements, and public art. The resulting design was used to pursue capital grants to build the suggested improvements.

The project's goals include:

  • Improving the district's identity and appearance
  • Increasing the economic viability of small businesses on Leland Avenue
  • Enhancing pedestrian safety and conditions
  • Creating better pedestrian connections to the Third Street Light Rail

The project is sponsored by the Mayor's Office, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell's Office, and the Planning Department. The project is funded by a grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Foundation and by Proposition K local transportation sales tax funds.

Project fact sheet (PDF - 1.7 MB)

Past Planning Efforts

This project builds on other recent planning efforts in Visitacion Valley and on Leland Avenue.

A series of community workshops in March and April of 2002, sponsored by Supervisor Maxwell's office and the San Francisco Planning Department, resulted in the creation of the community's concept plan for re-use of the Schlage Lock site.

View the Schlage Lock Strategic Concept Plan

In 2004, the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development (MOEWD), in collaboration with Urban Solutions, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Asian Neighborhood Design, held a series of community workshops to arrive at a Community Action Plan for Leland Avenue. The result of this process is summarized in the Leland/Bayshore Commercial District Revitalization document. MOEWD is engaged in ongoing economic revitalization efforts on Leland Avenue, working with community-based organizations.

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors created the Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Survey Area, which includes portions of Leland Avenue, as well as the Schlage Lock site. The Planning Department and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency will conduct the redevelopment survey and necessary planning work over the next 18 to 24 months.

Link to more information on Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Survey Area

The Planning Team

The Planning Department worked in collaboration with the Department of Public Works on Leland Avenue. A consultant team was hired for the Leland Avenue project to run the public process and design the detailed streetscape improvements. The consultant team was led by the urban design firm of Van Meter Williams Pollack, and included Asian Neighborhood Design and Merrill Morris landscape architects.

Schedule of Events

Workshop #1: Design a New Leland Avenue!
Saturday, October 22nd, 2005-9:30 am-12:30 pm
Visitacion Valley Elementary School, 55 Schwerin Street

Workshop 1 photo

Workshop #1 introduced community members to the project, existing conditions on Leland Avenue, and the scope of possible improvements. Participants discussed their issues and concerns with Leland Avenue, and their goals and preliminary ideas for its new design.

Workshop #1 Presentation (Powerpoint - 36 MB)

Summary of Workshop #1

Workshop #1 Summary Map (PDF - 2 MB)

Workshop #2: Hands-On Design Workshop
Saturday, December 10th, 2005-9:30 am-12:30 pm
Visitacion Valley Elementary School, 55 Schwerin Street

Workshop #2 was the heart of the Leland Avenue design process. Participants took part in a hands-on interactive exercise to identify preferred design approaches to Leland Avenue, and to formulate a 'kit of parts'- individual streetscape elements that could be combined to create a complete design.

Merchants Workshop
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Visitacion Valley Branch Library, 45 Leland Avenue

The Merchants Workshop was targeted to merchant concerns. Leland Avenue merchants were introduced to streetscape design concepts, and gave their feedback on the preliminary design approaches and design elements presented also at Workshop #2.

Summary of Merchant's Workshop

Workshop #3: Refining the Design
Saturday, February 11th, 2006, 10 AM - 12 PM
Visitacion Valley Elementary School
55 Schwerin Street

Building on input received in the first two workshops and the merchant's workshop, Workshop #3 presented a draft design for Leland Avenue. Workshop participants commented on what they did and did not like about the design. This community feedback was incorporated into the final design.

Workshop #3 Presentation (Powerpoint -35 MB)

Preferred Design

Existing Conditions

The Planning Team has conducted a detailed existing conditions analysis for Leland Avenue. The results of this analysis are presented here:

Existing Conditions Memo

Existing Conditions Map (PDF)


For more information on the Leland Avenue Street Design Project, please contact:

Adam Varat, Project Manager