A high-level view of the Hairball

Photo: Colin Hughes, flickr


Street safety improvements are coming to “the Hairball,” a busy intersection between Potrero Hill and the Mission. Every day, thousands of people walk, bike, and drive through this complex arrangement of streets where Potrero Avenue, Cesar Chavez Street, Bayshore Boulevard, and Highway 101 meet. Proposed improvements include widened sidewalks, new and improved bike lanes, and new street lighting. 

These improvements are funded by the Transportation Authority’s Neighborhood Program, with planning and construction led by the SFMTA and SF Public Works.

Cost & Funding 

The Transportation Authority’s Neighborhood Program has provided $500,000 for Hairball street safety improvements at the request of former District 10 Supervisor and Transportation Authority Board Member Malia Cohen and District 9 Supervisor and Transportation Authority Board Member Hillary Ronen. Funding came in the form of three separate grants, each focusing on specific improvements.

Timeline & Status 

Planning: Completed November 2016

Design: Completed March 2018

Construction: Ongoing


SFMTA Project Page 

SFMTA Report: Hairball: Key Segment Improvements, 2016 (PDF)

SF Planning: Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan, 2012 (PDF)

Prop K transportation Sales Tax Funding Requests: Grant 1 (PDF), Grant 2 (PDF), Grant 3 (PDF)


Thalia Leng, SFMTA: Thalia.Leng@sfmta.com 

Key features


This planning effort focuses on 15 segments of the Hairball identified in the San Francisco Planning Department’s 2012 Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan (PDF).

The Transportation Authority’s Neighborhood Program has funded Hairball improvements to Segments F, G, M, N, and O though the three separate grants.

A segment map of the Hairball

Grant 1: Design Recommendations for Segments F, G, M, N, O 

In 2015, SFMTA and SF Public Works received $100,000 in Neighborhood Program funding to develop recommendations for safety improvements at Segments F and G at the western entry to the Hairball, and Segments M, N, and O at the southeastern entry to the Hairball. 

Grant #1 Prop K Allocation Request Form (PDF)

In November 2016, SFMTA finalized preliminary designs for several safety improvement recommendations. 

SFMTA Report: Hairball: Key Segment Improvements, 2016 (PDF)

This report includes:

  • Project goals, existing conditions, key issues, and preliminary designs for these five key segments.
  • A conceptual lighting plan for the entire Hairball area.
  • An implementation strategy for moving the project forward through construction. 

Grants 2 and 3: Design and Construction for Segments F and G

The second and third grants went to SF Public Works for design and construction of Segment F and G recommendations from the SFMTA's Key Segment Improvements report. 

Grant #2 Prop K Allocation Request Form (PDF)

Grant #3 Prop K Allocation Request Form (PDF)

Specific design changes include:

  • Entry ramp widened and resurfaced at eastbound Cesar Chavez Street.
  • Eastbound shared bike/pedestrian path widened from 6 feet to 10 feet for shared/flexible uses.
  • New landscaped buffer installed to setback pathway from the road/highway on-ramp.
  • New retaining walls and abutment installed.
  • Pathway regraded to allow for sufficient clearance at highway overpass.

Visit the SFMTA's project page for more details on improvements to the Hairball.

Future Improvements: Remaining Segments 

In November 2018 the Transportation Authority Board approved the list of projects to be prioritized for funding from San Francisco’s Prop K transportation sales tax over the next five years. This project list included $480,000 for the Hairball’s yet-to-be improved segments.

Related programs


Our Neighborhood Program supports neighborhood-scale planning efforts and project implementation in each supervisorial district.