Blue Greenway


Map of Blue Greenway path

The Blue Greenway is the City of San Francisco's project to improve the City's southerly portion of the 500 mile, 9-county, region-wide Bay Trail, as well as the newly established Bay Area Water Trail and associated waterfront open space system. The alignment of the Blue Greenway generally follows the alignment of the Bay Trail and Bay Area Water Trail from Mission Creek on the north to the County line on the south, as illustrated in the map below.


Planning and Design Guidelines

The Port hosted a series of Blue Greenway community workshops in the development of the Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines; these meetings focused on existing conditions and best practices, presenting program and use options for each of the Port’s open spaces and alternative concepts for a palette of site furnishings, including tables, benches, lights, bollards, bike racks, and other features.


History and Context

The Blue Greenway concept evolved from the fact that San Francisco's portion of the Bay Trail is primarily completed on the northern portion of its waterfront from the Golden Gate Bridge to the ballpark, and that the southern portion requires significant improvement. In 2003, San Francisco Parks Alliance (dba Neighborhoods Parks Council) and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) initiated the effort to promote coordination between public agencies to continue the planning and the implementation of open space improvements by the Port, the City's Planning and Recreation & Parks (R&P) Departments, the Redevelopment Agency (SFRA), the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and California State Parks Department. This effort was furthered by Mayor Newsom's Blue Greenway Task Force in 2006.

The Mayor's Task Force developed the following Vision Statement for the effort: The Blue Greenway is more than a trail; it is a unifying identity for the 13-mile corridor along San Francisco's southeastern waterfront. The Blue Greenway will link established open spaces; create new recreational opportunities and green infrastructure; provide public access through the implementation of the San Francisco Bay Trail, the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, and green corridors to surrounding neighborhoods; install public art and interpretive elements; support stewardship; and advocate for waterfront access as an element of all planning and development processes over time.

The Task Force developed the following guiding principles:

  • Identity - A working, urban waterfront that invites public use and enjoyment and access to the water;
  • Health and Environment - An environmentally sustainable and accessible shoreline on the Bay that is safe and healthy for people as well as wildlife;
  • Connectivity - A premier public open space system that connects San Francisco's southeastern neighborhoods to the Bay; and
  • Economy and Development - A catalyst for responsive and responsible development, employment opportunities, and economic vitality.


Planning Process

Based upon the efforts of the Port and as a result of the Mayor Newsom's 2006 Blue Greenway Task Force, the Port of San Francisco identified significant Blue Greenway improvements opportunities along the Southern Waterfront as a component of the City's 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. In order to facilitate the expenditures of this General Obligation (GO) Bond measure, the Port agreed with the GO Bond Planning Committee to conduct a community planning process for the Blue Greenway that will:

  • Define open space opportunities including programming (where & how parks could be used);
  • Develop design guidelines to provide continuity and cohesiveness throughout the system of open spaces and the connections between them (identify consistent site furnishings, signage, interpretation, art) ; and
  • Develop project prioritization for the improvements based upon available funds, including sources other than the Port. (recognizing that the GO Bond funding will not cover all potential improvements)

The planning process and scope of work will produce Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines. These Guidelines define project and design parameters to provide direction for scoping and developing detailed construction plans to implement new Blue Greenway improvement projects.

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