Step by step

Shared Spaces compliance timeline

Rules for Shared Spaces will go into effect gradually.

Economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be an ongoing process in the months ahead.  

To stabilize neighborhood businesses, the Shared Spaces Ordinance allows for a staggered transition from the emergency, pandemic version of Shared Spaces to the legislated version of the program.

Design and operating regulations will go into effect gradually over time. These Rules ensure disabled access, emergency response, transit function, and loading zones. This will minimize negative financial impacts for Shared Spaces sponsors who need to make modifications.

On Tuesday March 22nd, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to extend the pandemic Shared Spaces Program until March 2023. The timeline below reflects the changes from that ordinance.


Starting August 28, 2021

Rules starting in this phase:

  • Design for Persons with Disabilities: Including clear path of travel on sidewalks, sidewalk diverters, and dining table for wheelchair users.

  • Design for Emergency Responder Access: Including 3-foot wide gaps every 20 feet and removing portions of roofs that interfere with firefighting ladders.

Some parklets may need to re-size, relocate, or be removed.  If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications in advance: 

  • Opening Transit Boarding Areas: Clearing Shared Spaces at transit stops where bus and train service is starting again.

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Starting Spring 2022

Visibility at High-Injury Intersections

Some parklets near intersections may need to re-size, relocate, or be removed.

This ensures pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers can see each other, signage, and traffic signals.   If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications in advance.

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June 30, 2022

Pandemic Permits Extended

Existing Pandemic Permits for sidewalk tables & chairs, sidewalk merchandizing, parklets, roadways and private lots are set to expire on June 30, 2022. 

Valid pandemic permits in good standing will be extended to March 31, 2023.  Some permits may be held back if the permittee is not taking action to fix ADA, emergency access, and pedestrian safety issues.

Roadway (Temporary Street Closure) Permits do not automatically extend.  To operate a Roadway Temporary Street Closure on or after July  1, 2022, you must submit a renewal application.

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September 1, 2022

Equity Grant Applications Re-Open

Reimbursements are available up to $2,500 for Shared Spaces operators to bring their Shared Spaces into compliance with ADA and safety guidelines. Grants can be used for materials or professional services. You must complete required compliance work and get your legislated Shared Spaces permit before we can pay you.

Step-by-step application process here

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Fall 2022

Compliance Advisories & Compliance Noticing begins

You may receive communications from the City to help you understand how to make your pandemic Shared Spaces safe and accessible.

  1. Compliance Advisory in your email. This will summarize all the design and placement issues at your site that the City has noted so far. It will list typical deadlines for fixing different types of issues.
  2. Enforcement & Compliance Cover Sheet in person in or in your email. This is similar to the Compliance Advisory, but will include hard deadlines instead of typical deadlines. It will be part of a packet that includes
    1. Notice of Correction or Notice of Violation from Public Works. This will have strict deadlines and fees if you have not been responsive to initial communications from DPW
    2. Notice of Violation from the San Francisco Fire Department.  This will have strict deadlines and fees if you have not been responsive to initial communications from SFFD
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January 15, 2023

Applications Due for legislated permits

Businesses must have a legislated permit to operate after the pandemic program ends.

You will need to do the following as part of the part of the application process for a legislated Shared Spaces parklet permit.

  • Neighbor Consent: Some parklets will need written consent from their neighbors, if more than half the parking space for a parklet is in front of a neighbor.

  • Site Plan: You will need to submit a site plan that shows that your parklet will be safe and ADA accessible.

  • Public noticing requirements: You will need to post a 10-day public notice at and around the proposed site. You will receive the notice for posting after submitting a permit application.

Apply for a permit for your sidewalk or parking lane

Apply for a roadway activation

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Starting April 1, 2023

Pandemic Shared Spaces Program ends and the legislated Shared Spaces Program begins.

Some parklets may need to re-size, relocate, or be removed.  If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications in advance. 

  • Color Curb Reinstatement: Ensures there is adequate disabled, passenger, and commercial loading on the block
  • Maximum 2 parking spaces: Helps as many merchants as possible have the opportunity to operate a parklet. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis

Parklets must follow these rules of the legislated program on or after April 1, 2023:

  • Public benches: All parklets must have a seating area that is open to the public, indicated with a sign.

  • 3-foot setback: All parklet structures should be set back from the end of the marked parking space, to allow additional accessibility for emergency responders. The setback is not required where the parking space is adjacent to a red curb.

Roadway ‘pop-up’ Street closures will begin receiving barricades, signage, and other traffic control fixtures from the City.  You will no longer need to get these items on your own.

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Permit fees begin assessment

Permit Application and License Fee waivers end in March 2023. Fees will be added to the Unified License Bill for your business.

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Last updated October 26, 2022