San Francisco

a photo of cyclists riding beside a streetcar in the Mid Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco’s Busiest Street Is Going Car-Free

A just-approved plan will redesign Market Street to favor bikes, pedestrians, and public transit vehicles. But the vote to ban private cars didn’t happen overnight.

A tent, spray-painted with the words "Sleep. It's Not A Crime."

Why Calling the Police About Homeless People Isn’t Working

Complaints about San Francisco homelessness have risen, but even if callers simply want to help, shortages means citations are given more often than support.

A crane in the San Francisco sky

What the ‘Crane Index’ Says About Your Changing City

In some cities, a skyline full of construction equipment has become synonymous with change and displacement. But there are things cranes can’t tell you.

A photo of a bike lane in Philadelphia

The Unsettling Rise of the Urban Narc App

It’s getting easier for city residents to use technology that can report bad drivers who block bike lanes. Welcome to the self-surveillance era of traffic safety.

a photo of murals of George Washington's life and legacy inside San Francisco high school.

A Depression-Era Mural, Caught in a Very Contemporary Controversy

At a public viewing of a 1930s mural depicting the life and legacy of George Washington, San Franciscans argued about preservation, racism, and erasure.

The Future of the City Is Childless

America’s urban rebirth is missing something key—actual births.

Are These the Last Vape Shops in San Francisco?

The city wants to stop the rise of teen vaping by banning the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes. It could also mean the end of a particular kind of store.

The FCC’s Confusing Attempt to Change a San Francisco Law

The city found a novel way to give residents access to more broadband internet providers. Federal regulators just partly blocked it, but it’s not clear how.

a photo of a Bird scooter in San Francisco.

What Happened When I Rented an E-Scooter for (Almost) a Month

Bird’s new monthly rental program could force users and cities to reconsider e-scooters as a real mode of transportation. But there are some drawbacks.

San Francisco’s Former ‘Night Minister’ Is an Ardent Housing Advocate

A short documentary reveals how a spiritual leader walks his faith by night in a city gripped with homelessness.

Police officers patrol NYC Pride.

Do Police Have a Place at Pride Parades?

Stonewall’s anniversary has cops and LGBTQ activists revisiting their fraught history—and debating if police belong at celebrations of gay and trans rights.

U.S. Cities Are Seeing a Big Drop in Tourism From China

Travel from China to the U.S. fell for the first time in over a decade. That could mean money lost for big cities as well as smaller places near national parks.

Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

To Build a Better Bus Lane, Just Paint It

“Red carpet” bus lanes can be a cheap, fast, and effective way to smooth commutes for public transit users and drivers alike.

a photo of men riding bicycles

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Micromobility Revolution

At a Bay Area summit devoted to electric scooters and other new mobility devices, fans evangelized about the potential of technology. But safety was an afterthought.

Could High-Speed Rail Ease California’s Housing Crisis? See Japan.

A UCLA study says that bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka helped reduce housing prices. Would that work for San Francisco and Los Angeles?

The ‘Marie Kondo Effect’ Comes at a Weird Time for Thrift Stores

Netflix’s hit show has everyone tidying up, but that's not the only reason second-hand stores are being flooded with donations.

IKEA plans to boost its online offerings and open 30 smaller stores in city centers over the next two years.

Why IKEA Wants to Move Downtown

The retail giant plans to open a series of “city center” stores, starting in Manhattan. It’s a notable departure from its usual big-box suburban megastores.

A Bird e-scooter on a San Francisco sidewalk.

What Ends Up On the Sidewalk

Sidewalks are a last shred of safe public space. No wonder we’re fighting over them.

Lyft Just Became America’s Biggest Bikeshare Company

By acquiring Motivate, Uber’s chief rival will take over the docked systems in New York, D.C., San Francisco, and more.