The block of Hayes Street between Gough and Octavia Streets will stay car-free on weekends for at least another month, as merchants successfully lobby the city to back off a hastily announced cancellation.

There’s been a “mini car-free Hayes Street” program in effect on weekends since August 2020. It hasn’t been all of Hayes Street going car-free; it was originally three blocks of the street, and in recent months has been just the one block between Gough and Octavia Streets. And it’s only on weekends, from 4-10 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

But the whole Hayes Valley car-free program was abruptly scheduled to end after this coming Sunday, and the neighborhood’s merchants were not pleased with the out-of-the-blue news.

So they pushed back, and it worked. The Chronicle reports that SFMTA has agreed to extend the car-free Hayes Street weekends by “at least one more month.” The above tweet contains the letter  from the district’s supervisor Dean Preston which apparently did the trick, albeit only for the short term.

“Car-free streets have brought joy to families and residents throughout the city,” Preston said in a statement after the decision. “The Hayes Valley Shared Spaces program has for nearly three years been a transformative example of how we can transform our streets for the benefit of the entire community."

It’s a rare moment where Mayor London Breed is in agreement with the supervisor that now represents her former District 5. “Hayes Street will continue to operate closed to traffic on weekends as it has since the pandemic while we determine our long-term plans,” the mayor tweeted Tuesday. “To discuss the future of weekend closure on Hayes, we’re convening stakeholders, including the merchants SFMTA, & Fire Department.”

This one generated nowhere near the gnashing of teeth of car-free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, the fate of Slow Streets, or other pandemic-era street closures/street reimaginings. But if you are a fan of street reimaginings, you’ve got that car-free Hayes Street block seemingly at least through August 27, and of course, Slow Streets Mission returns to Valencia Street this coming Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.  

Related: Supes Approve Permanent Car-Free JFK Drive, After 12 Hours of High-Drama Debate [SFist]

Image: @hvnavoice via Twitter