Reclaiming Streets for Pedestrians and Cyclists, Creating New Public SpacesThis great video by our friends at Streetfilms gives a great overview of what the city of San Francisco has been doing in the recent past to make the city more people-scaled, rather than car-centric, and thus greener.
The beauty here, and what excites me about most of these so-called 'tactical' initiatives, is that they can be done quickly and cheaply, which means that if other US cities wake up and decide to commit to more pedestrian, cyclist, and transit-friendly cities, they can make a lot of progress very quickly.
I also think that dynamic parking pricing, which is being pioneered in SF, should be the norm everywhere. It just makes more sense than the flat rates that we have now; why make people pay the same thing when there's 100 empty spots as when there are 2? By making street-parking more expensive during peak time, you insure that those who really need a spot can find one, and that those who could have taken transit or walked rather than driven there will do so. The pricing mechanism allocates a scarce resource more efficiently and everybody wins.
For more details on how dynamic parking pricing works in SF, check out the official website of SFPark.