Market Street

Market Street is San Francisco’s signature boulevard, an economic and social hub. As the city’s transit spine and the final leg of the Bay-to-Beach Connecting the City route, Market Street may be the most important corridor for biking and transit. With thousands of daily riders, Market Street now carries more people on bike than it does people driving, further highlighting the street’s importance as one of the city’s most important bike routes.

The City is repaving Market Street in 2017 as part of the Better Market Street Project. The project began environmental review in early 2014, which will last two years and during which a final design will be chosen. The three proposed designs include a continuous separated bikeway from Octavia to the Embarcadero, a proposal to move all bikes onto a Mission Street bikeway, and a status-quo proposal with few bike improvements. The Better Market Street Project also considers pedestrian realm improvements and changes to the social and economic life of Market Street.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and its members have come out strongly in favor of the continuous, separated bikeway on Market Street (option 2). This design is the best proposal for encouraging more people to bike on our most iconic street, supporting local businesses and activating the street. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is also working closely with the City, transit and pedestrian advocates, residents, and businesses to implement immediate improvements to Market Street while we wait for the Better Market Street Plan to be completed.

The timeline for the completion of the project is as follows:

  • 2014 – 2015: Environmental Review.
  • 2015 – 2017: Detailed design phase.
  • 2017-2018: Construction and repaving.

Market Street

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Joint Principles for a Better Market Street

In 2011, the SF Bicycle Coalition worked with a number of organizations to come up with Joint Principles for a Better Market Street, based on common interests from a number of community and advocacy groups. Priorities for a redesigned Market Street include:

  • An inviting, attractive and unique character.
  • Separation of transportation modes.
  • Improved, well-lit, and fully accessible transit stops featuring ADA compliant boarding islands.
  • Better, pedestrian-scaled lighting
  • Strategically placed seating and greenery with a strong maintenance plan and funding.
  • Activated sidewalks.
  • Strategies for increased personal safety, including increased visibility for all sidewalk and road users.
  • Safe crossings for pedestrians
  • Space for passenger and goods un/loading
  • Urban design that promotes slow speeds and local gathering places.

These principles for an improved Market Street come after staff meetings and member workshops with the following organizations:

  • Union Square Business Improvement District
  • Yerba Buena Community Benefit District
  • Lower Polk Neighbors
  • Central Market Community Benefits District
  • North Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District
  • Curry Senior Center
  • Great Streets Project
  • Senior Action Network
  • Walk SF
  • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

These Joint Principles were formulated in early 2011. SF Bicycle Coalition staff and volunteers held meetings with staff and Directors of the above organizations, and also hundreds of senior citizens (through the Senior Action Network and Curry Senior Center). After reviewing the above conceptual image, participants were asked to point out the features of Market Street they liked, disliked and would want to see on the future Market Street. These workshops were also translated into Russian, Laotian, and Vietnamese.

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