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Upper Market Street Safety Project

Project Introduction

The Upper Market Street Safety Project is a substantial, multi-phased effort to improve the safety and comfort of Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro Street for all roadway users.  The project is based on a data-driven approach to identifying collision hot spots and factors, and includes engineering recommendations for the corridor's complex 6-legged intersections, dedicated bike lane upgrades, and public realm improvements to enhance safety and comfort for people walking, driving, and bicycling. Project goals are to improve safety and comfort for all users by reducing the potential for conflict and by making travel along the corridor more predictable and intuitive. 

The project is the culmination of prior neighborhood planning efforts that stretch back over a decade, including the Upper Market Street 2009 Community Vision and Recommendations and Market-Octavia Area Plan. The estimated $9 million design and construction budget is funded primarily through developer impact fees dedicated to the Market Octavia Plan area.

Project Timeline 
Near-Term Implementation
Long-Term Design
Near-Term Implementation
Begin Final Construction
Project Status
Project Success
On budget
On schedule
SFMTA walking icon
Painted safety zones, bulbouts, refuge islands, and upgraded crosswalks
SFMTA walking icon
Signal timing improvements and right-turn on red restrictions
SFMTA bike icon
Protected bikeway, green bike boxes, enhanced lane markings, and painted buffer zones
SFMTA Drive and Parking icon
Circulation changes, enhanced lane markings, and protected signal phases
SFMTA Streetscape icon
Landscaping and other public amenities
SFMTA Muni bus icon
Thumbnail islands and platform expansion to promote safety and accessibility on Muni boarding islands
CURRENT STATUS As of April 2019, the project’s sidewalk, transit island, and streetscape elements are at the 65% design milestone. Staff are currently winnowing down specific streetscape design options for streetscape elements, which will be shared in May for public feedback (likely via the website) prior to finalizing the design by September 2019. Proposed circulation changes including left-turn restrictions from Noe, Sanchez, and southbound 16th streets – and a new traffic signal for the Hermann/Laguna intersection adjacent to Market Street – are expected to come before the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval in summer 2019. The SFMTA will post and email updates to stakeholders as new information becomes available.

Curb management concepts generated in earlier outreach phases are being utilized by staff to inform parking and loading requests on a case-by-case basis. A future comprehensive revision to the way curb space is allocated along Upper Market remains a possibility, but there are no active plans currently for moving such an effort forward.


Near-Term Implementation Phase 1

In 2015, the SFMTA implemented several near-term safety improvements, designed to quickly and effectively increase safety and comfort on the corridor while permanent improvements are designed and legislated.  These near-term project elements included:

  • Painted safety zones to increase pedestrian visibility and slow the speed of turning vehicles
  • Signal timing improvements to increase the crossing time for pedestrians, provide pedestrian “head starts,” and manage congestion
  • Upgraded crosswalks to increase visibility
  • New right-turn on red restrictions to enhance pedestrian safety and comfort 
  • Enhanced lane markings in the roadway to indicate where vehicles and bicycles should be
  • Enhanced bicycle lanes, to increase the separation between cyclists and drivers

Near-Term Implementation Phase 2

In early 2018, the SFMTA implemented the following near-term improvements that were approved by the SFMTA Board in May 2017:

  • Parking-protected bikeway on Market Street outbound between Octavia Boulevard and Duboce Avenue and inbound between Guerrero Street and Octavia Boulevard
  • Bike lane upgrades between Duboce and Castro
  • Painted safety zones at the Guerrero/Market and Hermann/Laguna intersections
  • Revised traffic signal phasing at the 16th/Noe/Market intersection
  • Improved intersection wayfinding/guidance markings

Implementation of remaining Phase 2 improvements will occur in 2019. These include improved bicycle connections to/from Upper Market Street at Octavia Boulevard and Sanchez Street, as well as changes to the northwest corner of the 17th/Castro/Market intersection to improve safety and accessibility after changes were made in 2018 as part of construction staging and operations for the Twin Peaks Tunnel Improvements project.

Long-Term Project Elements

More permanent infrastructure upgrades to the corridor were approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in May 2017. These improvements include the following elements:

  • Permanent sidewalk extensions and crosswalk realignments to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians at key intersections
  • "Thumbnail Islands" and platform expansion to promote safety and accessibility on Muni boarding islands

These elements, together with related streetscape upgrades and final approved circulation changes, are expected to begin construction in early 2020:

  • Potential circulation changes including turn restrictions and protected signal phases to further reduce potential conflict points for people walking, riding bikes, and driving through the corridor
  • Potential landscaping, seating, and other public amenities for approved permanent sidewalk extensions
  • Potential changes to loading, parking and other curb uses to reduce double parking and better accommodate community needs for parking and loading space


Stakeholder Engagement

From October 2014 to February 2018, the Upper Market Street Safety Project team held approx. 25 in-person meetings with key organizations including the Castro Commercial Benefit District (CBD), Castro Merchants group, Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA), Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA), and the Market-Octavia Citizen’s Advisory Committee (MOP-CAC). During this time, the Project team also hosted eight public open meetings, including a curb space management workshop in October 2015 to gather community feedback on corridor parking and safety issues including double-parking and loading concerns, and a 2018 open house to consider potential streetscape upgrades and additional circulation changes.


    Every year, dozens of people are killed and 200 more are seriously injured while travelling on city streets. These deaths and injuries are unacceptable and preventable, and San Francisco is committed to eliminating them.

    By adopting a policy called Vision Zero in 2014, the City and County of San Francisco is committed to building better and safer streets, educating the public on traffic safety, enforcing traffic laws, and prioritizing resources to implement effective initiatives that save lives. Vision Zero aims to eliminate all traffic deaths in San Francisco by 2024 and the SFMTA is prioritizing efforts on the corridors that have the highest number of serious and fatal collisions, including Upper Market Street.

    The Upper Market Street Safety Project is in support of Vision Zero and will implement targeted, proven safety improvements on the corridor.

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    Vision Zero SF logo
    Contact Information
    Casey Hildreth