According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco has 1,017 miles of streets, but City Hall has accepted only 869 of them. This means that 148 miles of city streets are considered “unaccepted” and the city claims that it has no responsibility for maintaining these streets. These “unaccepted” streets are on steep hillsides and are either narrower than regular streets or they were never paved to begin with. Property owners who live near these streets are responsible for maintaining them, since the city refuses to maintain them. Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for the Public Works Department, stated the following regarding these “unaccepted” streets,
That’s just how it works. The city doesn’t want to take care of streets and staircases that don’t meet regular city standards. … Hopefully when people buy property and move in, they do due diligence to find out what their responsibilities are.
In the early 2000s, residents living near these streets found out about the city’s stance when they complained about the streets being in despair with overgrown trees that were uncared for by the city. Apparently, these “unaccepted” streets became popular with homeless people, drug dealers, and thieves. In 2007 one of these streets, a portion of Tompkins Ave, was revamped by community neighbors who applied for and won a community challenge grant of $15,000 from the city. In 2016, this same portion of Tompkins Ave was revamped again thanks to more grants. This and other “unaccepted” streets continue to be ignored by the city and have to be maintained by neighbors around the streets. Lets’ hope that other cities don’t try to follow San Francisco’s lead and just refuse to maintain some city streets.