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Folsom Streetscape Project Page

Existing Conditions 

The Folsom Streetscape Project area includes Folsom Street between 2nd and 11th streets. Folsom Street is an eastbound, one-way street and between 11th and Falmouth streets, there are three vehicle travel lanes, a parking protected bike lane, and transit boarding islands at the following intersections: 

  • 11th Street (far-side) 

  • 9th Street (far-side) 

  • 8th Street (far-side) 

  • 7th Street (far-side) 

  • 6th Street (mid-block between 6th and Falmouth streets)  

Folsom Street has three eastbound vehicle travel lanes with a buffered bike lane between Falmouth and 4th streets.  

Folsom Street has four eastbound vehicle travel lanes with a Class II bikeway (bike lane) between the vehicle travel lane and parking lane from 4th and 2nd streets.  

More than 300 people ride in the existing bikeway during the AM peak hour and approximately 50 in the PM peak hour.  

The 12 Folsom Muni line travels on Folsom Street from 11th to 2nd streets and carries approximately 5,500 passengers a day with a frequency of 15 minutes in the AM peak hour.  

The 27 Bryant Muni line travels along Folsom Street between 6th and 5th streets and carries approximately 6,700 passengers a day with a frequency of 15 minutes in the AM peak hour.  

The average daily traffic count is approximately 14,000 vehicles who travel along the corridor based on a PM peak hour volume of 1,350. 

Project Components  

Once completed, Folsom Street will implement the following treatments: 

Roadway Configuration Changes 

  • Removal of one to two eastbound travel lanes on Folsom Street between 2nd and 11th streets 

  • Repaving of the Folsom Street corridor 

Pedestrian Safety Improvements 

  • 21 new corner bulb-outs that shorten crossing distances  

  • 15 traffic signals with improved timing (this number includes one midblock crossing and two new alleyway crossings) 

  • Raised bikeway crossings that will prioritize pedestrians 

  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals or pedestrian head starts at 11 intersections 

  • Raised crosswalks at ten alleyways 

Transit Service Changes 

  • New transit-only lane to Folsom from 10th to just after 4th streets and new service from the 8 Bayshore, 8AX Express, 8BX Express, 27 Bryant. 

  • Eight new or upgraded transit boarding islands 

Bicycle Safety Improvements 

  • New two-way protected bike lane on Folsom from 2nd to 11th streets 

  • Concrete buffers for parking-protected bikeways 

  • New concrete protection for bicyclists in intersections 

  • 16 new separated bike signals with dedicated phases for cyclists and turning vehicles 

  • Raised bikeways at select alley crossings to prioritize a cyclist’s right-of-way 

Loading and Parking Improvements 

  • New parking meters on Folsom from 6th to 11th streets will increase turnover and parking availability for customers. 

  • While some parking spaces will be removed to enhance safety and visibility, the SFMTA continues to work with the business community to prioritize loading needs 

Public Realm Improvements 

  • Tree-lined medians 

  • Civic Amenity Zones, or pedestrian spaces with customized pavers, historic plaques and district street signs 

  • New pedestrian street lighting 

Project Schedule 

The construction phase is scheduled to begin in 2022 and last for 24 months. 

Immediate Need to Address Safety 

In 2018, the SFMTA completed near-term or “Quick-Build” improvements on Folsom Street between 11th and Falmouth streets using effective temporary and adjustable measures such as paint, traffic delineators, and signage. 

Quick Build Traffic Safety Improvements Safety Issue Addressed from Existing Conditions
Parking protected bikeway High stress bike facility, bike lane blockage, and dooring. 
Mixing Zones (e.g. dashed green striping and yield "teeth" markings Vehicles turning right conflict with bicyclists proceeding straight. 
Two-stage turn box Bicyclists don’t know where to turn left to connect to other bike routes, which increases conflicts b/w turning bicyclists and vehicles. 
Intersection daylighting & adjusting advanced limit lines  Pedestrian visibility at intersections. 
Transit boarding islands  Decreased transit performance and increased conflicts at bus stops b/w buses, vehicles, and bikes. 
Transit bus shelters  Limited protection from weather and people waiting for the bus on the sidewalk block pedestrians. 
Improved curb management Double parking and parking in the bike lane 
Vehicle turn restrictions  Vehicle and bike/pedestrian intersection conflicts. 
Traffic lane reduction  Roadway constraints because of improved bikeway. 

Beginning in 2021, the SFMTA implemented another Quick-Build project with temporary safety features on Folsom Street between 5th and 2nd streets.

Quick Build Traffic Safety Improvements Safety Issue Addressed from Existing Conditions
Parking protected bikeway  High stress bike facility, bike lane blockage, and dooring. 
Intersection daylighting & adjusting advanced limit lines  Pedestrian visibility at intersections. 
Transit boarding islands  Improved transit performance and reduces conflict at bus stops b/w buses, vehicles, and bikes. 
Improved curb management  Double parking and parking in the bike lane. 
Vehicle turn restrictions  Vehicle and bike/pedestrian intersection conflicts. 
Traffic lane reduction Roadway constraints because of improved bikeway. 

Evaluating Folsom Street Near-Term Improvements 

Improvements on Folsom Street between 11th and Falmouth streets include parking protected bike lanes, installing bus boarding islands and doubling the number of yellow commercial loading zones. Some “daylighting” was also implemented. 

Key evaluation metrics include: 

  • Vehicle approach speed 

  • Conflict behavior at key locations (i.e. mixing zones, bus boarding islands, etc.) 

  • Compliance at traffic signals 

  • Perception of safety 

After  implementing near-term improvements and analyzing the outcomes the findings include: 

  • Fewer loading violations (i.e. parking, loading, or blocking the bike lane) compared to before improvements were implemented.  

  • On average, people loaded for shorter periods of time on average. 

  • 21% increase of people biking at all observed locations. 

  • 29% increase of people walking at all observed locations. 

  • 83% of people who biked felt more comfortable along Folsom Street after implementation. 

  • 88% of people driving felt more comfortable or no change at all.