Octavia Boulevard was opened in 2005 as a replacement for an elevated segment of San Francisco's Central Freeway damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. The street maintains auto access between the city's east and west sides, carrying more than 40,000 cars a day. At the same time, its multiway design, with local-access side lanes separated from traffic by landscaped medians, serves to buffer cyclists, pedestrians and residents. The surrounding neighborhood of Hayes Valley, blighted by the freeway since the 1950s, has been revitalized and will become more livelier as housing fills in a strip along the boulevard's side left vacant by the freeway's demolition.
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