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Caltrans grant helps transform barren San Francisco streets into beautiful landscapes

The city of San Francisco unveiled the results of the Gateway Project Friday, which transformed several blocks of the city with thousands of plants and large murals near the Yerba Buena Gardens and Moscone Center.

Public officials, community leaders and local artists gathered at the corner of Fourth and Howard Streets for a ceremony to commemorate its completion. The project added over 8,600 new plants to the area, and a mural by local artist Dee Pa’este.

The project was completed just in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which starts Nov. 11. World leaders including President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the event at the Moscone Center, in the heart of the beautification effort.

“We started out about three years ago with Governor Newsom’s Clean California Initiative. This was a local grant submitted and we were awarded, $1.8 million to improve this corridor with murals and planting so that the people that come to Moscone, the people that come from the transit station can really see a better experience when they’re in San Francisco,” said Caltrans Deputy Director of External Affairs in the Bay Area Cheryl Chambers.

The project focused on public spaces along Fourth Street stretching from the new Yerba Buena/Moscone Center subway station to the historic LeRoy King Carousel at Yerba Buena Gardens. The location is an important gateway to the City’s cultural and convention district.

Within a one-quarter mile of the station, there are over 2,500 housing units, of which more than 1,400 are for low-to-moderate-income residents, including housing for seniors.

The neighborhoods around the station are populated by about 53,600 residents per square mile. Additionally, four of the six largest hotels in San Francisco are within 150 yards of the station entrance.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) applied for the “Clean California” grant, which funded the project. Clean California is a billion-dollar Caltrans initiative to remove litter, create jobs and beautify California.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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