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Townsend Corridor Improvement Project

Project Introduction

Construction is nearing completion! 

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.  

Bus Shelter on boarding island next to bike lane at Caltrain on Townsend and 4th streets

PROJECT NEWS: Construction is nearing completion for new safety elements on Townsend between 3rd and 8th streets, including new walkways, a transit bulb, bike lane, sewer upgrades, and more. We’ve also installed new bicycle signals at 4th and Townsend that will improve the flow of people and vehicles through that busy intersection. 
     
During the final phase of construction – on Townsend Street between 7th and 8th streets – loading and parking changes will made to facilitate work crews. Pedestrian walkways and two-way traffic will be maintained at all times. 
TRANSIT  AND LOADING CHANGES FROM MARCH 2020
  • Area Map of Townsend between 4th and 5th streets
  • The inbound 47 Van Ness and 83X Mid-Market Express will drop off and lay over near 5th Street.
  • The 10 Townsend will load passengers and the 47 Van Ness and 83X Mid-Market Express will pick up outbound passengers at the bus shelter on the floating sidewalk.
  • Two pedestrian crosswalks are designated for people crossing from Caltrain across the bike lane to the floating sidewalk/bus shelter.
  • The taxi zone will be restored to its original location on Townsend Street, east of the bus zone near 4th Street
  • The curb along the Caltrain entrance on 4th Street will return to loading zone status.
  • Tour bus loading on the south side of Townsend was permanently moved to the south side of Townsend between 5th and 6th streets
  • Loading for private shuttles and cars will occur in the white zone mid-block.

Throughout the project area, new boarding islands and a new bus bulbout reduce the need for buses to pull in and out of travel lanes.

    Project Timeline 
    2017
    Gather stakeholder feedback through online surveys and pop-up events, share conceptual designs
    Completed
    2018
    Spring: In-depth outreach to stakeholders; Summer: design and environmental review; November: SFMTA Board approval
    Completed
    December 2018
    Quick build safety improvements for pedestrians and bicycles
    Completed
    Fall 2019
    Construction between 3rd Street to 5th Street
    Pending
    Spring 2020
    Final construction and opening
    Pending
    Project Status
    Current

    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
    Caltrain
    Muni
    San Francisco Public Works logo
    SF Planning Department logo
    Transbay Joint Powers Authority
    Vision Zero SF logo
    Contact Information
    Jonathan Streeter