Upper Market Street Safety Project

Project Introduction

Construction Update - Left Turn Restrictions Coming Soon

In summer 2023, the Upper Market Safety Project was substantially completed.  As part of the SFMTA's commitment to evaluate how improvements meet the goals of the safety project, the project team has monitored operations at the corridor’s complicated six-leg intersections. Since implementation, the project team has identified a pattern of crashes and received several complaints about left turns originating on Sanchez Street. Restrictions on left turns were included in the original plan for this project but never implemented due to lower vehicle volumes from the Covid-19 pandemic. Given recent crashes and complaints from neighbors, crews will be implementing restrictions on left turns later in May, 2024.

To share general comments on the project, email Casey.Hildreth@sfmta.com. To report issues requiring immediate attention, submit an SF311 request

The Upper Market Street Safety Project was 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 was based on a data-driven approach to identifying collision hot spots and factors and included 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 were to improve safety and comfort for all users by reducing the potential for conflict and making travel along the corridor more predictable and intuitive. 

The project widened sidewalks and added other accessibility upgrades (primarily where existing ‘painted safety zones’ had been in place since 2015), new traffic signals, transit boarding island enhancements, and streetscape amenities such as center median uplighting and decorative crosswalks. These investments reflect years of community input to address safety issues at Upper Market’s wide, multi-way intersections and support neighborhood identity and a vibrant commercial corridor. The project also added bikeway improvements at the Market Street and Octavia Boulevard intersection, modifications to signal phasing and timing at several intersections, and other refinements of project elements.

The project reflects years of robust outreach and evaluation, as well as prior neighborhood planning efforts - stretching back well over a decade – that include the Upper Market Street 2009 Community Vision and Recommendations and the Market-Octavia Area Plan.

Between 2015 and 2019, nearly $1 million in ‘near-term’ safety improvements were added to the corridor as a down payment on a larger set of traffic and sidewalk changes. The project’s final $10 million construction phase was completed between 2021 and 2023 and was funded with Market Octavia developer impact fees, SFCTA Prop K sales tax revenues, a state grant, and other local sources.

Project Timeline
Near-Term Implementation
Long-Term Design
Final Construction
Evaluation and Closeout
Project Status
  1. Implementation / Construction
Painted safety zones, bulbouts, refuge islands, and upgraded crosswalks
Signal timing improvements and right-turn on red restrictions
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
Landscaping and other public amenities
Thumbnail islands and platform expansion to promote safety and accessibility on Muni boarding islands


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

From 2018 to 2019, 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 on Market Street, on Sanchez Street approaching Market Street, and across Market Street at Octavia Boulevard
  • 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

Capital Construction Phase

From 2021-2023, the City completed the final set of capital investments to the Upper Market Street, including the following elements: 

  • Sidewalk extensions (bulbouts) and ADA accessibility upgrades at seven intersections 
    • 17th/Castro - new curb ramps/pathway to Muni elevator and Pink Triangle Park
    • 16th/Noe - four bulbouts (both approaches to Market Street on 16th and Noe streets) 
    • 15th/Sanchez – four bulbouts (three on 15th Street) 
    • 14th St – one bulbout, southeast corner near Ace Hardware
    • Dolores St – straightening / shortening of Market Street crosswalk
    • Laguna/Guerrero – large bulbout on SE corner, new curb ramps at all corners 
    • Octavia/McCoppin/Central Freeway – widened Octavia plaza with crosswalk accessibility improvements including raised crosswalk at McCoppin Street 
  • Traffic Signals: 
    • Major overhaul (revised signal layout and phasing) for 16th/Noe and a Laguna/Guerrero intersections, including a new signal for Hermann/Laguna approach to Market Street 
    • Signal and phasing modifications at Octavia, 15th Street, and Castro Street 
  • Bikeway and bike access upgrades: 
    • Enhanced physical protection for southbound approach, northbound departure on Octavia at Market Street 
    • Widening/straightening of Market Street protected bikeway inbound at McCoppin/Central Freeway and outbound at Laguna and Buchanan street approaches 
    • New sidewalk bike racks and corrals 
  • Transit
    • Enhanced transit access including an expanded outbound boarding platform at Laguna Street 
  • Streetscape enhancements:
    • Uplighting of center median palm trees 
    • Stamped, decorative crosswalks at 15th/Sanchez and Hermann/Laguna intersections 
    • Substantial tree replacement and maintenance along Market Street, and new median island with landscaping on Guerrero Street approaching Market Street 
    • Repair and extension of the Rainbow Honor Walk plaque program 
    • Potential for custom, decorative (“HOPE”-themed) MUNI railings and bike racks, utility box public art pending successful contractor bid and final project budget


Stakeholder Engagement

From October 2014 to November 2019, the Upper Market Street Safety Project team held approx. 30 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), Corbett Heights/Eureka Valley neighborhood associations, 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.

In fall 2020, the SFMTA held a public hearing to consider final approvals for the project’s proposed left-turn restrictions at Market Street and new traffic signal at Hermann/Laguna. Once under construction, the project’s main construction phase outreach and notification will be managed by SF Public Works.


    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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    Contact Information
    Casey Hildreth