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Improving Folsom and Howard

Monday, June 17, 2019

Folsom and Howard street bike path

Making Folsom and Howard Safer

For San Francisco to reach its Vision Zero goal and eliminate traffic fatalities, we must continue to take action on Folsom and Howard streets. In just the last year, three people have died on Folsom and Howard and even more have been severely injured. While we have made near-term improvements to these two streets, there is still more work to do to transform this corridor.

On June 18, the SFMTA Board will vote on the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project’s long-term changes.  The changes address challenges by making it safer and more pleasant to walk, bike, take transit, shop and live along Howard Street from 11th to 4th and Folsom from 11th to 2nd.

If approved the project is expected to begin constructing these improvements in 2021 and hopes to finish by 2023.

Better Transit

Muni service on Folsom Street will see improved reliability through a few street changes. The project will add a transit-only lane from 10th to just after 4th streets. This change could cut the average morning wait times for a bus on Folsom from 15 minutes to just 2 minutes. These improvements will help give people more options to avoid driving, reduce traffic and fight climate change.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements

The project’s pedestrian safety improvements will make it safer and more comfortable for people that live and work in SoMa to walk on Folsom and Howard. Improvements will include:

  • Six new signalized mid-block crossings that will help people cross long SoMa blocks safely.
  • Raised bikeway crossings which will prioritize pedestrians walking from the parking buffer to the sidewalk.
  • More corner bulb-outs that shorten crossing distances making it easier to get across the street safely.
  • Improved signal timing that will give pedestrians a head start and more time to cross the street.

Better Biking

While near-term improvements installed parking-protected bikeways on much of Folsom and Howard, these additional long-term changes will make them even better. New two-way bike lanes on Howard and on Folsom will help cyclists connect between bike routes. Throughout the corridor, we are adding enhanced signals that will separate phases for bikes and right turning vehicles (like we have at 8th and Folsom). These signals will allow us to eliminate mixing zones along the corridor and provide more clarity for turning drivers and cyclists alike. Combined with new concrete buffers we think these signals will make riding on Folsom and Howard a safer and more pleasant experience.

Working with the community to design the best Folsom and Howard

These changes are being considered after extensive community outreach. Since the beginning of the project, 400 people have attended our open houses, 1,300 people have responded to our surveys and we have met with more than 100 businesses along the corridor and 20 community groups. We appreciate all of the community input regarding the safety of our streets. Please keep the conversation going in the comments section below.