San Francisco needs to abort all building. The City is dangerously over populated

Lee Heidhues 11.29.2021

California and San Francisco politicians, planners, developers and housing advocates have it all wrong. To continue going in this reckless manner will bring ultimate human disaster. San Francisco needs to abort this reckless and unnecessary growth.

All residential and commercial construction needs to be aborted.

As the Chronicle analysis shows San Francisco is the second most densely populated City in the United States. Nearly 900,000 people are crammed into 49 square miles in a City surrounded on three sides by water. San Francisco is not Texas where cities can expand amoeba like into the countryside.

Complicating the problem is that San Francisco does not have the infrastructure; i.e. public transit, health care and other services to support a cramped over populated City.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 11.29.2021

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Market and Castro Street

Over the past decade, San Francisco’s population grew by 8.5%, or nearly 70,000 residents. Yet despite this increase, the city’s population remains tiny compared with giants such as New York and Los Angeles, which have nearly 9 million and 4 million people, respectively. With roughly 900,000 residents, San Francisco is only the 17th most populous city in America.

When it comes to density, New York is in a league of its own, with nearly 30,000 residents per square mile. That’s more than 50% higher than the density of No. 2-ranked San Francisco, which comes in at just under 19,000 per square mile.


It’s a different story when you take geographical size into account. In addition to its modest population, San Francisco is also physically small. So when you look at residents per square mile, it’s the second-most densely populated major city in the country after New York.

While some major cities can grow outward by expanding their boundaries, that’s impossible in San Francisco, since it’s bounded on three sides by water. To accommodate more people, the population density will likely have to be more equally distributed across the city.

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San Francisco street life in 2021

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved a plan to allow the construction of fourplexes on more than 110,000 parcels currently zoned for single-family homes or two-unit buildings. According to Commissioner Frank Fung, a plan like this that spreads medium density throughout the city is quite rare — many proposals are for tall buildings near downtowns. But an approach that parcels out population more evenly could lead to faster and cheaper construction, said Fung, not to mention more gradual and manageable growth

That’s according to a Chronicle analysis of 2020 decennial census data on cities with at least 300,000 residents. We looked at which are the most dense and which have gotten more or less so since 2010, when the previous census was conducted.

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San Francisco Muni. Packed.

In general, the most dense sections are located near downtown, in the Tenderloin, Chinatown and Financial District/South Beach neighborhoods. The tract with the highest density is a three-block area of the Tenderloin, north of Market Street and between Leavenworth and Jones streets. It has roughly 2,300 residents in a 0.01-square-mile area, equivalent to about 224,000 people per square mile. That’s nearly 12 times more than the city average.

By contrast, neighborhoods such as Bayview-Hunters Point, Lakeshore and the Sunset tend to be the least dense. The lowest density tract is a 1.4-square-mile area in Bayview-Hunters Point, adjacent to Potrero Hill and Dogpatch. Roughly 1,250 people live there, which comes out to roughly 900 residents per square mile — about 20 times less dense than the city average and 250 times less dense than the most crowded part of the Tenderloin.

Even so, this area has more than tripled in population in the last decade; back in 2010, it had only 350 residents. Yet it still remains the least dense part of the city by quite a bit: the next least is about 1.5 times more densely populated.

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Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco

On a national scale, the Tenderloin ranks up with the giants. The two most-crowded tracts there are the sixth and seventh most densely populated in the country, exceeded only by four tracts in New York and one in Chicago. All of them are in roughly the same size range: The five outside San Francisco average 250,000 people per square mile, versus 220,000 for the two Tenderloin tracts.