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Central Embarcadero Safety Project – Survey Results & Approval Dates

Service Affected
Bicycle
Motorcycle
Parking
Taxi
Driving
Transit
Walking

The project team has updates to share on the Central Embarcadero Safety Project, including key takeaways from the public engagement survey, modifications to the proposal based on feedback, and upcoming dates for the public hearing and approval.

Central Embarcadero Quick-Build

Near-term safety changes envisioned between Mission Street and Broadway (previously called the Embarcadero Enhancement Project, Phase 1A) are now referred to as the quick-build phase of the Central Embarcadero Safety Project. The Central Embarcadero Safety Project also envisions a follow-up capital phase to consider updates to the quick-build segment and the extension of the two-way waterside bikeway from Folsom Street south to Bryant Street.

The SFMTA and Port of San Francisco will advance work along the Northern (north of Broadway) and Southern (south of Bryant Street) Embarcadero as part of the Embarcadero Enhancement Program. This re-branding is in recognition of the multiple projects and extended timeframe needed to address safety issues along the corridor – particularly in light of the pandemic-related economic downturn and the need to coordinate with planned land-use changes along the waterfront.

Image of people walking and bicycling on the Embarcadero's shared-use promenade just north of the Ferry Building

We heard from you

Over 1,400 people responded to the public perception survey in March and April, almost half saying they live nearby. Respondents expressed the diversity of how they use the Embarcadero, ranking traffic safety, the shared-used promenade, recreation and open space, and shopping, dining, and events as their most important priorities. The project team learned much from the community, and we outline key takeaways below. A complete summary is available on the project website.

  • A large majority believe the project will improve the overall safety of travel along the Embarcadero (71% rated this statement with four or five stars). A similar number think the bikeway will make it easier for people to reach more destinations by bike and scooter, including as a last-mile connection to ferries.
  • Two-thirds of respondents strongly agree that people walking on the promenade benefit from an on-street bikeway that attracts faster users off the promenade. A common theme amongst write-in comments is a desire to reduce conflicts between users on the shared-use promenade.
  • Opinions are split on whether to continue to allow people to ride bikes and scooters on the promenade with an on-street protected bikeway. Parents with children and less confident folks like the option to ride on the promenade, while others believe the space is too congested to share.
  • About half of the respondents are uncomfortable needing to cross the bikeway when loading a vehicle in the proposed 'floating' loading lane. Many people support including traffic calming treatments and strong messaging to encourage yielding and slow speeds at pedestrian crossings.
  • Many mention the importance of loading near the Ferry Building and cite the need to support the ongoing operation and loading needs of the Ferry Building farmers' market.

While opinions differ on the specifics, we heard overall support for the project and the importance of managing conflicts between users on the crowded Embarcadero corridor – critically, that the status quo isn't working. The project team greatly appreciates the time folks took to respond to the survey and will continue to utilize this feedback in the project's design and evaluation plan.

Changes to the proposal

We have made a few changes to the project proposal based on public feedback:

  • Maintaining two left-turn lanes onto Washington St – This connection facilitates access into the Financial District, Barbary Coast, and Chinatown neighborhoods. We are still proposing a partial road diet and parking-protected bike lanes on Washington St between Clay St and The Embarcadero.
  • Refined loading and access at the Ferry Building – We made adjustments to the loading proposal at the Ferry Building to better accommodate farmers' market operations and maintain 100% of the curb space used today. The updated layout relocates underutilized bus zones to expand loading and add a new taxi zone.
  • Developing a public awareness campaign – In response to long-standing concerns for safety on the shared-use promenade, an education campaign will join the implementation of the two-way bikeway to encourage faster users into the new facility and promote safer behavior.

Next steps

We thank everyone who has engaged with the project team and helped refine the proposals. We are now advancing the Central Embarcadero Quick-Build to review by the Port Commission and SFMTA Board of Directors. 

  • Tue, May 25: Port Commission (public hearing) 
  • Tue, June 1: SFMTA Board (informational update) 
  • Tue, June 8: Port Commission (approval hearing) 

The official public hearing date is the first Port Commission meeting on May 25. Staff will then update the SFMTA Board a week later, with the Port Commission approval hearing scheduled for June 8. 

If approved, implementation could begin as early as late summer. We are seeking to coordinate with an in-progress SFPUC project to limit impacts to traffic, restriping the roadway after they finish and repave the street. 

We had a lot to share – thank you for reading. Additional project information is available at SFMTA.com/Embarcadero, and please pass any feedback to Embarcadero@sfmta.com.