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Better Market Street Project Update: 5th to 8th Streets

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In October 2019, the Better Market Street project finished its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review and received project approvals.

In January 2020, the SFMTA used its Quick-Build program to deliver car-free Market Street, improving safety and making transit more reliable through low-cost improvements such as signage and paint.

In early 2021, Better Market Street plans to start the first phase of construction, between 5th and 8th streets.

Due to the impacts on the local economy and our city budgets related to COVID-19 and because of the greater-than-anticipated success of car-free Market Street, our plans for the first phase of construction must change. When private vehicles were removed from Market Street, transit became up to 12% faster and the number of people biking increased by 25% – over 800 people per hour at peak. The original designs for a new sidewalk-level bikeway would not have enough capacity to keep up with the updated demand of people biking on Market Street.

Furthermore, as local businesses work to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to minimize construction disruptions that could reduce access to businesses, especially on the sidewalks in front of their stores. With this new reality in mind, we hosted a series of stakeholder meetings and open houses about changes to the design ideas for phase one.

After receiving and reviewing hundreds of public comments, we proposed additional design modifications.

Learn more about the project and Phase 1 design updates at