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Howard Street Implementation

UPDATE (December 18, 2023) -

The Howard Streetscape Project - 

  • Resumed detailed design last month and we expect to reach 65% design in spring 2024.  
  • We anticipate scheduling an urban realm community engagement event in winter 2024
Project Introduction

The Howard Streetscape Project area includes Howard Street, a westbound one-way street, that extends from 4th to 11th streets. Howard Street runs parallel to Folsom and Mission streets. The Moscone Convention Center, one of the largest traffic generators in the City, is located within the corridor and prior to the pandemic received one million visitors per year. 

The project will address dire safety concerns on Howard Street that resulted in three fatalities on the corridor between 2014 and 2019. In total, 152 traffic collisions have occurred on the Folsom-Howard couplet over this time, placing the corridor on San Francisco’s Vision Zero High Injury Network, where 13 percent of San Francisco's streets endure 75 percent of the total severe and fatal traffic collisions. More than half of these collisions involved a person walking or biking. 

Project Components 

Once completed, Howard Street will implement the following treatments: 

Roadway Configuration Changes 

  • Removal of one westbound travel lane on Howard Street between 4th and 11th streets 

  • Repaving of the Howard Street corridor 

Pedestrian Safety Improvements 

  • New corner bulb-outs that shorten crossing distances  

  • Traffic signals with improved timing   

  • Raised bikeway crossings that will prioritize pedestrians 

  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals or pedestrian head starts   

  • Raised crosswalks at alleyways 

Bicycle Safety Improvements 

  • New two-way protected bike lane on Howard from 4th to 11th streets 

  • Concrete buffers for parking-protected bikeways 

  • New concrete protection for bicyclists in intersections 

  • 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 

  • ADA compliant passenger loading zones to accommodate wheelchair ramp deployment 

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 

Immediate Need to Address Safety 

Beginning in 2019, the SFMTA completed “Quick-Build” improvements on Howard Street from 11th to 3rd streets with a Class IV parking- protected bicycle lane and Howard Street between 3rd Street and The Embarcadero using effective temporary and adjustable measures such as paint, traffic delineators, and signage. 

  • Upgrade the existing bike lane to a parking-protected bikeway in the westbound direction to provide a more comfortable and separated space for people riding bikes
  • Daylighting at intersections and driveways to improve intersection visibility
  • Increase the number of yellow zones to improve loading for commercial businesses
  • Traffic lane reduction to redistribute roadway space for all road users
Project Timeline 
Planning and Conceptual Design
2016 to 2019
Detailed Design
Cost Estimate
Predicted Completion
Project Status
Preliminary Engineering
Contact Information
Alan Uy, Project Manager
Ashley Hong Transportation Planner