San Francisco

San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world. It’s surrounded on three sides by water, which makes its climate cool throughout the year. Mark Twain used to say that the coldest winter he ever spent was summer in San Francisco. So, even if you visit in the summer, bring a sweater and don’t expect to swim in the ocean.

San Francisco is an extremely liveable city. It’s relatively densely developed with many different neighbourhoods, each with its own flavour, character (and characters!). The best way to see it is on foot, public transport or by bike.

It’s also easy to escape the urban jungle. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area starts on San Francisco’s north and west coast, then runs north in Marin and Sonoma counties and south into San Mateo County. Great bicycling!

I moved to the city while a UC Berkeley student in 1984 and lived there until moving to Europe. Here are some thoughts on San Francisco transport planning and recommendations (especially developed for city planners).

San Francisco Transport Planning

I worked as a transport planner in the Bay Area for just over 20 years, starting as a consultant and ultimately serving as Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. I also spent many years as an activist with organisations working to improve San Francisco and the Bay Area. This section presents information on some of my projects and some thoughts about San Francisco transport planning.

San Francisco Recommendations and Walking Tours

San Francisco’s magnificent natural setting and history have combined to create a very special urban place – big enough to be a real city, but surrounded by easily accessible natural areas and parks.

When visiting, don’t drive a car! There’s lots of traffic congestion and not enough places to park. The city’s a great place to walk, bike and ride public transport. Buy one of Muni’s visitor-oriented passes it will save you time and money – especially helpful if you plan to ride the cable cars.

Here are my recommendations and tours (Note, some information is old, so check up-to-date sources!):

Several organisations also offer tours:

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