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Townsend Corridor Improvement Project


The first set of safety treatments is being implemented on Townsend Street between 5th and 7th streets to provide a smoother surface to walk and bike. City crews will continue construction along this segment with roadway and curb paint installations, as well as sign installations.

During these times, temporary tow-away zones will be established to remove parked vehicles and allow crews space to complete construction. During construction, one travel lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Temporary loading zones will be established for commercial loading, passenger loading, and tour bus loading on both sides of Townsend Street west of 5th Street. The Ford GoBike station at Townsend and 5th Street will be temporarily relocated during construction.


Townsend Street has one of the richest mixes of travel modes of any street in San Francisco.  4th and Townsend, with the regional Caltrain Station and the future convergence of the Central Subway light rail, is the main draw on the corridor.  Thousands of people an hour access this regional transportation hub by bicycle, by foot, by shuttle bus, TNC vehicle, taxi, personal vehicle, or by one of the eight Muni bus routes on Townsend.  This project will work with the local community to create an efficient and safe Townsend Street where all modes of travel are separated into comfortable and intuitive spaces.  The project area for improvements is Townsend Street from 3rd Street to 8th Street.  

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)
November 2018
Construction begins
Project Status 

The SFMTA is focusing on Townsend 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, and there were 43 bicycle collisions on the corridor in the last 5 years.  

The poor quality of the street, including lack of sidewalks and pavement conditions, make this street feel unsafe for all users. The area undergoing rapid population and employment growth and many development projects are already underway. This project is specifically designed to make low-cost 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 
Cameron Beck