Stockton Street, San Francisco

The Stockton Street Tunnel is a tunnel in San Francisco, California, and carries its namesake street underneath a section of Nob Hill near Chinatown for about three blocks. The south portal is located just shy of Bush Street, which is about two blocks to the north of Union Square. The north portal is located just to the south of the Sacramento Street intersection.
The tunnel was primarily built for the streetcars of the now defunct F Stockton line. A petition was filed for a new streetcar line by Frank Stringham, representing an unnamed group of investors, with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 23, 1909. Their intent was to create a nearly level route connecting North Beach with the downtown area. George Skaller later took credit for the initial push for a tunnel, saying that the city had studied the idea for at least twenty years, but would never be built as "all city enterprises, on account of the long and windy red tape connected with city enterprises" were doomed by bureaucracy. Stockton was favored over Grant, which was seen as too narrow, or Kearny, which already was franchised to the United Railways.
Although Skaller initially hoped to raise private funding for the tunnel, the Board of Supervisors imposed a requirement allowing the city to take over the railway after ten years at its physical valuation, and no private investors were willing to fund the project. Instead, Skaller turned to the idea of public funding through a special assessment district, labeling the project as an "improvement" for existing roads. The Stockton Street Tunnel Association launched its fundraising campaign in May 1910, hoping to raise 450000 to cover construction costs by creating a special assessment district to fund the improvements. The estimated assessment for a lot 25by was 62.50 in 1910. The project adopted the slogan "The open door to North Beach" in May 1910.
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  • Stockton Street from Union Square there is a tunnel with pedestrian walkways. Don't make the mistake and go up the stairs unless you love walking the hilly streets. Easiest passage to Chinatown by foo...  more »
  • If you want a taste of locals shopping for groceries, come to Stockton St in Chinatown. You will be treated or pushed around by local senior shoppers shopping for daily groceries. There is no order he...  more »
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