16th Street Improvement Project, Phase 2
The 22 Fillmore serves 18,000 daily riders, but it currently travels at less than 4 miles per hour on parts of 16th Street.
To address the transportation needs of current and future residents, workers and visitors to 16th Street, community-informed improvements are being implemented on 16th Street, that include transit-only lanes, transit bulbs, new traffic and pedestrian signals, as well as new streetscape amenities. The project was split into two phases – the first phase, from Potrero Avenue to 3rd Street, was completed in summer 2020. The second phase is ongoing and is between Church Street and Potrero Avenue.
The 16th Street Improvement Project aims to improve transit reliability and travel time by nearly 25%, while addressing safety and accessibility. This project is part of Muni Forward, an ongoing initiative to create a safe, reliable and comfortable experience on and off transit.
Project Scope and Construction Timeline
- Improve reliability and travel time of the 22 Fillmore for the 18,000 daily riders by nearly 25% in the project area
- Improve safety on 16th Street for people walking, bicycling, and driving
- Improve bike route from Mission to Mission Bay
- Upgrade aging sewer infrastructure, with the addition of water infrastructure improvements for Phase 1 east of Potrero Avenue
- Facilitate zero-emission transit service to connect the Mission Bay neighborhood to the Mission
To better leverage public funds and minimize construction impacts, the project also includes replacing old underground water lines (Phase 1, 16th Street from Potrero Avenue to 3rd Street only) and sewer lines. Once construction is complete, the street will be entirely repaved.
To provide zero-emission transit service into Mission Bay, the project includes extending the overhead contact system (OCS) that powers trolley buses on 16th Street from Kansas Street to Third Street. This will allow the 22 Fillmore to be extended into Mission Bay. Additionally, new bike lanes have been added to 17th Street to create a continuous route from Mission Bay to the Mission Neighborhood.
Along with the important improvements to 16th Street, the eastern end of the 22 Fillmore route will shift to serve the growth in jobs, housing and hospitals in Mission Bay. A replacement route, 55 Dogpatch, was created through a community process that will ensure service is maintained to Potrero Hill and the Dogpatch areas once the 22 Fillmore shifts to Mission Bay and 3rd Street.
The project will be delivered in two phased segments, with two separate construction contracts. Construction of Phase 1 from Potrero Avenue to 3rd Street was completed in the summer of 2020. Phase 2 is from Church Street to Potrero Avenue and is planned to start construction in early 2022.
Phase 1 construction on 16th Street from Potrero Avenue to 3rd Street was completed in summer 2020.
Phase 2 construction will be implemented along 16th Street between Church Street and Potrero Avenue. Construction is scheduled to begin May 9, 2022.
Improved Transit Reliability and Travel Time: Dedicated transit lanes will help buses bypass traffic, reduce delays and make for a smoother ride. Sidewalk extensions at bus stops (bus bulbs) provide more space and allow passengers to board quickly without buses having to leave the travel lane. And bus stop changes, like removing some closely-spaced stops and moving others to the far side of the intersection, help improve travel time and reliability.
Safer Streets: Sidewalk extensions at intersection corners (pedestrian bulbs) will shorten the distance for people to cross the street and encourage cars to take turns more slowly. New high-visibility crosswalks will help alert drivers to pedestrians.
New Streetscaping: The corridor will be enhanced with new trees, landscaping, unique sidewalk designs and fresh bus shelters with locally themed images. Sickly or unsafe trees will be removed and replaced by an over 3-to-1 ratio, adding a total of 101 new trees along the corridor. After other improvements are completed, the roadway will be repaved.
Utility Improvements: To better leverage public resources and minimize construction impacts to the neighborhood, utility upgrades are included in the 16th Street Improvement Project. In coordination with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), aging sewer mains will be replaced from Dolores to South Van Ness.
What to Expect During Construction
Work hours are expected to be Mondays through Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Work will move from block to block, starting from Potrero Avenue and moving west towards Church Street and is expected to range from a few weeks to a few months per block. Sewer main replacement will happen first, followed by street-level improvements.
Some parking will be temporarily restricted in construction areas and traffic lanes will be modified during active work. Bus stops may be temporarily relocated. Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction.
As part of the Transportation Effectiveness Program (TEP), now called Muni Forward, the "22 Fillmore Transit Priority Project" (now called the "16th Street Improvement Project") is part of a larger network of proposed or planned improvements to the Muni system in order to improve reliability and speed, and increase overall system effectiveness. Muni Forward takes a system-wide approach in its assessment with an understanding that for transit to work well throughout the city, key heavy-use routes like the 22 Fillmore need to serve riders and the overall system more efficiently.
Transportation, Land-use, and Housing Funding
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases and support improved transportation in the neighborhood, the SFMTA was granted $2.5 million to help fund construction of the 16th Street Improvement Project from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant in partnership with BRIDGE Housing and Mission Housing Development Corporation that will help build over 150 affordable units at 1950 Mission Street. The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant funds land-use, housing, transportation, and land preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
On a city-owned property a half-block from the 16th Street BART station, two housing developers will build over 150 apartments that will be affordable to families earning between 45 percent and 60 percent of San Francisco’s median income. About a quarter of the building’s apartments will be earmarked for formerly homeless families, according to BRIDGE.