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The Embarcadero Enhancement Project – Phasing Plan Update

Service Affected
Accessibility
Bicycle
Parking
Driving
Walking

The Embarcadero Quick-Build Projects at Pier 35, Ferry Terminal, and in the Rincon Restaurant Zone were substantially completed in December to expedite safety and mobility improvements along the waterfront. These changes included the corridor’s first segment of two-way protected bikeway adjacent to the promenade, offering a preview of the changes proposed with the Embarcadero Enhancement Project (EEP).

Looking to connect and extend these quick-build improvements, the EEP prioritizes the next two phases of capital investment along the corridor. On Tuesday, January 12, SFMTA presented the proposed phasing plan to the Port Commission. 

Phase 1 – Central Segment (Mission to Broadway) 

The EEP Central Segment targets safety investments where they are needed most — in the heart of the waterfront (Mission to Broadway, Ferry Building), where the majority of collisions occur and where demands on the promenade are highest. 

  • The proposed two-way protected bikeway addresses a fundamental conflict along the Embarcadero: the mixing of fast-moving vehicle traffic with more vulnerable people biking and riding scooters. The existing bike lane is too scary for many, forcing them to ride on the promenade (increasing conflicts with pedestrians and business activities), or not at all. Phase 1 triples the length of two-way bikeway recently completed by converting the third northbound travel lane, making it more useful for more people to reach more destinations. 
  • People walking would directly benefit from an on-street bikeway that attracts faster users off the promenade and has proper controls for crossings. The reconfiguration also creates substantially shorter pedestrian crossings at Pacific and Clay streets, as well as near the Ferry Building. Other safety measures and circulation changes are planned at the Washington Street and Broadway intersections, which are top collision locations for people walking and bicycling. 

The first phase will be constructed in two distinct sub-phases: 

  • Phase 1A (paint and signs): Less-intensive construction is expected to occur in late-2021-22, using ‘quick-build’ techniques and city crews. 

  • Phase 1B (sidewalk and signal changes): More substantial capital investment and civil construction will follow in 2023-24. 

Draft conceptual plan views and a fact sheet for Phase 1 are available on the project website.

This iterative approach allows for timely implementation of key safety measures and expanded mobility options during the pandemic-related temporary shutdown of historic streetcar service. It also allows for time to observe and evaluate these changes prior to committing to more permanent and expensive streetscape features. 

Phase 2 - Southern Segment (Mission to Townsend) 

The second phase (Southern Segment) would extend the Quick-Build and Central Segment improvements south toward the ballpark, Caltrain, and growing Mission Rock neighborhood. This phase requires more significant capital investment and changes to the existing promenade and center medians to accommodate a fully protected two-way bikeway, and as such has a longer and less certain timeframe. SFMTA staff are continuing to advance preliminary engineering and will be coordinating with the Port’s development plans for Piers 30-32 and 38-40. 

Northern Segment (Broadway to North Point) 

The EEP preliminary engineering phase has identified several design and funding challenges to implementing the project as envisioned along The Embarcadero north of Broadway.  This segment will not move forward as part of the EEP, but will undergo additional public outreach and analysis later this year together with the Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 circulation study. 

Stay informed as we create a safer Embarcadero 

Outreach for Phase 1 is currently underway through spring 2021. The Embarcadero is a special place for many in San Francisco and beyond. We look forward to engaging with the community in the months ahead as this important project takes shape. Please visit our project website at SFMTA.com/Embarcadero to stay up to date on the latest information and sign up for updates, or contact the project team directly by emailing Embarcadero@SFMTA.com