ATTN: IB 1 blocked on Clay btwn Montgomery and Sansome due to a non Muni collision. Expect an IB reroute and residual OB svc delays. (More: 18 in last 24 hours)

Townsend Corridor Improvement Project

Project Introduction

Construction is now underway - click here for the notice 

Townsend Street has one of the richest mixes of travel modes of any street in San Francisco. 4th and Townsend, along with the regional Caltrain Station and the soon-to-be-completed Central Subway light rail, is the nexus of this corridor as visitors, residents, workers, shoppers and travelers converge there daily. Thousands of people an hour access this regional transportation hub by bicycle, by foot, by rail, by shuttle bus, ride-share vehicle, taxi, personal vehicle, or by one of the eight Muni bus routes on Townsend. Throughout this project we have worked with the local community to design and build an efficient and safe Townsend Street where all modes of travel are separated into comfortable and intuitive spaces. When complete, the project will transform Townsend Street from 3rd Street to 8th Street.  


Quick-build safety treatments implemented in December 2018 on Townsend Street between 5th and 7th streets will soon be extended. Beginning August 2019, Townsend between 3rd and 5th streets begin construction to create a new sidewalk, transit bulb, and curb loading zones. We’re also working on installing new bicycle signals at 4th and Townsend that will improve the flow of people and vehicles through that busy intersection.

During construction – starting in mid-August and continuing through the rest of the year – temporary tow-away zones will be established to remove parked vehicles and allow crews space to complete their work. Pedestrian walkways and two-way traffic will be maintained at all times. Additionally, temporary bus zones and passenger loading zones will be established at nearby locations during construction. The tour bus loading on the south side of Townsend between 4th and 5th will be permanently moved to the south side of Townsend between 5th and 6th.


  • The 83X Mid-Market Express which traveled this corridor will be rerouted onto Brannan Street and will still stop at Townsend and 4th Street.
  • The project will re-route the 47 Van Ness, which currently circulates the area in a clockwise manner utilizing 5th and 4th streets, so that it will circulate counter-clockwise utilizing 5th and 3rd streets. Bus stops will be relocated accordingly. 
  • Throughout the project area, new boarding islands and a new bus bulbout will reduce the need for buses to pull in and out of travel lanes.
  • A limited number of transit stops for routes 10 Townsend, 30 Stockton, 45 Union/Stockton, 47 Van Ness, 81X Catrain Express, 82X Levi Plaza Express, 83X Mid Market Express, 91 Owl, and N Owl will be adjusted in order to provide adequate space for drop off and pick up of passengers.
    Vision Zero SF logo
    Project Timeline 
    Gather stakeholder feedback through online surveys and pop-up events, share conceptual designs
    Spring 2018
    In-depth outreach to businesses, residents, roadway users, and neighborhood stakeholders
    Summer 2018
    Refine near-term designs and complete environmental review of proposals
    November 6, 2018
    SFMTA Board Meeting (final approvals)
    Fall 2018
    Construction between 5th Street to 7th Street
    Summer 2019
    Construction between 3rd Street to 5th Street
    Project Status

    The SFMTA is focusing on Townsend Street as it is a corridor of high demand due to the density of residents, bicycle use, proximity to Caltrain, and the current lack of physically protected bikeway. Townsend Street between 8th and 4th is a part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network, where 43 collisions involving people biking occured on the corridor in the last 5 years.  

    The poor quality of the street, including the lack of sidewalks and inadequate pavement conditions, make this street feel unsafe for all users. The area is undergoing rapid population and employment growth, with many development projects already underway. This project is specifically designed to make near-term improvements to the street in advance of the planned excavation of Townsend Street as part of the Downtown Extension Project.  

    California High Speed Rail Authority
    San Francisco Public Works logo
    SF Planning Department logo
    Transbay Joint Powers Authority
    Vision Zero SF logo
    Contact Information
    Jonathan Streeter