Mayor London Breed Announces Approval of Market Street Improvements
Approved today by SFMTA Board, the Better Market Street project will enable immediate safety and transit reliability improvements to begin in early 2020, including making Market Street car free east of 10th Street
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced final approval for the City’s Better Market Street project, enabling transformational safety and streetscape improvements along 2.2 miles of Market Street, one of the most traveled streets in the world. The final approval for the project came today, when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors approved the project’s proposed transportation changes.
Today’s highly anticipated decision provides a path forward for longer-term construction improvements to widen sidewalks, add protected bike lanes, speed up Muni, and improve loading and delivery for businesses. Given Market Street’s importance for transit, the project features new Muni-only lanes and new rapid service stops that will result in a 25 percent time savings for transit riders. While these long-term changes move forward over the next few years, immediate safety changes will go into effect by early 2020, following a directive issued by Mayor Breed earlier this year to move forward quickly with safety enhancements wherever feasible.
In 2020, Market Street will become car-free east of 10th Street, benefiting the thousands of people who ride transit, walk, or bike on Market Street on a daily basis. These improvements will be paired with numerous safety enhancements at intersections and new loading zones on cross-streets.
“Market Street is at the heart of our city, and we need to do everything we can to make it a safer, more livable, and more vibrant place for our residents, workers, and visitors,” said Mayor Breed. “Last year, there were 123 injury collisions on Market Street and the majority involved people walking and biking. Better Market Street and the project’s near-term improvements are critical to achieve our Vision Zero goals and ensure everyone can feel safe on our most traveled street.”
Today’s approvals conclude a comprehensive planning and decision-making process including numerous City agencies. San Francisco Public Works is leading the multi-agency project in partnership with SFMTA, San Francisco Planning, the County Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Mayor’s Office on Disability.
“These project approvals mark a major milestone for the Better Market Street project,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “We are one step closer to delivering a makeover of the City’s premier boulevard, bringing it into the 21st century with streetscape improvements that will make the street safer, more accessible and more welcoming for San Francisco’s residents, workers and visitors.”
“This truly transformational project will help create the Market Street our city deserves: one that prioritizes safety, accessibility, transit and economic vitality,” said Tom Maguire, SFMTA Interim Director of Transportation. “These important changes are designed to advance the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths on one of our busiest corridors.”
“The Better Market Street project included an extraordinary amount of public engagement and creativity that is reflected in the streetscape improvement designs,” said John Rahaim, Director of San Francisco Planning. “With the continued growth from the surrounding neighborhoods, we were committed to a unified thoroughfare by increasing the transit, pedestrian, and bike safety options that support a safer and more diverse range of activities.”
“San Francisco won’t achieve Vision Zero without a bold vision for Market Street,” Brian Wiedenmeier, Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “We look forward to working with Mayor Breed to get cars off Market Street as soon as possible and break ground next year.”
“Cities around the world are creating car-free spaces and pedestrian boulevards in the urban core. We can’t wait for San Francisco to join these leading cities,” said Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk San Francisco. “The Better Market Street plan will make our city stronger, more climate-friendly, and dramatically safer for the 500,000 people who walk down it each day.”
“I’m enthusiastic about the fact the Environmental Impact Report has been certified and the plan is moving ahead with Quick Build in the first quarter of 2020. I’m looking forward to the possibility of a shovel in the ground by the end of next year,” said Ron Miguel, chair of the Better Market Street Community Working Group and past president of the San Francisco Planning Commission.
For project updates, go to www.bettermarketstreetsf.org.