Castro sidewalk construction hurting neighborhood businesses

By David Stevenson : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO —  A plan to widen sidewalks in San Francisco’s Castro District is putting a financial squeeze on some merchants there because of reduced foot traffic and limited parking. 

Construction crews in the neighborhood are more than doubling the size of sidewalks on two blocks of Castro Street.

The goal is to make the district more pedestrian friendly, especially in time for gay pride weekend in June when an additional one million people are expected to flood the city.

Castro Street merchants on Friday told KTVU they appreciate the work being done by the city and construction crews but said many tourists and residents are now avoiding the area.

Gyro Xpress owner Koch Salgut said sales have dropped 60 percent since March when the construction narrowed the sidewalks and made street parking disappear… (more)

Any guesses as to how many of these businesses will survive after the rents go up in the neighborhood? Slowing down a major thoroughfare through a dense neighborhood will slow down response times for emergency vehicles as well.