Street lights along Chinatown's Joice Alley

The SF Public Works installed new street lights along Chinatown’s Joice Alley in August 2023, as part of the Joice Alley Lighting Improvement Project, using $500,000 in Prop AA Vehicle Registration Fee funds provided by the Transportation Authority.

The community-based project, requested by Transportation Authority Board Member Aaron Peskin (District 3) and led by SF Public Works, aimed to create a safer and more inviting walking experience through Joice Alley. The project provided enhancements to Joice Alley between Clay Street and Sacramento Street.

Key features include:

  • Three new pedestrian-level streetlights
  • New electrical conduits and services
  • Restoration of building exteriors and historical concrete letter plaques

The project was prioritized in response to requests from Chinatown community groups to respond to the need for streetscape and security improvements for the children and families of nearby Gordon J. Lau Elementary, residents, and passing commuters.

The project is also a part of the SF Public Works’ Chinatown Alleyway Master Plan, which guides the renovation of 31 alleyways in Chinatown. The plan is designed to enhance the safety and appearance of Chinatown’s secondary streets to benefit tourists, rejuvenate local businesses, and improve residents’ quality of life.

Chinatown’s alleyways are critical points for commute and culture. Tucked between Stockton Street and Powell Street, Joice Alley directly connects to Gordon J. Lau Elementary. The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and the Cameron House, a cultural organization benefiting Chinese-American families, are located along this path. Joice Alley is also near the Powell cable car line, 30 Stockton Muni line, and the Central Subway station.

Additionally, the Transportation Authority will be kicking off the Walter U Lum Public Place Study this spring which will examine various scenarios for a people-first Walter U Lum Place. Potential strategies will include options for a shared street, traffic-calmed street, and time-restricted vehicle access. The project will also develop an urban design strategy to cohesively connect Walter U Lum Place with other cultural destinations in Chinatown and improve the public streetscape. This Prop L Neighborhood Program project follows the 2020 Portsmouth Square Community Based Transportation Plan, conducted by the Transportation Authority in partnership with Chinatown TRIP.


Joice Alley Lighting Improvement Project (SF Public Works)


Related Content


This study will examine various scenarios for a people-first Walter U Lum Place in District 3.