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SFMTA Releases Final Proposal For Upper Market Street Safety Project

SFMTA Releases Final Proposal For Upper Market Street Safety Project
Market Street at Castro is set to see improvements. (Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline)
By Steven Bracco - Published on August 01, 2016.

On Thursday, the SFMTA released its final project proposal for the Upper Market Street Safety Project, which aims to increase safety and comfort for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike on Upper Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro Street. The project has been a long time coming, after months of meetings, presentations and most recently, an open house in May.

Market between Octavia and Castro is a major corridor in San Francisco's Vision Zero High Injury Network. "In the five-year period from 2007 to 2012, there were 27 collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, 32 vehicle-bicycle collisions and 102 vehicle-vehicle collisions" on that stretch of Market, according to the SFMTA. 

The proposed final project will affect intersections from Castro Street to Duboce Street. Here are the changes coming to each intersection, as proposed by the SFMTA.

Market and Castro streets. | Image: SFMTA

At Market and Castro streets, the biggest changes will involve adding green paint and green-backed sharrows directing traffic to the bike lane. In a future phase of the project (which will require further outreach), Market and Castro could also see a dedicated left-turn pocket for cars heading east or west (more on that below).

Market, Noe, and 16th streets. | IMAGE: SFMTA

The intersection of Market, Noe, and 16th streets, one of the neighborhood's busiest, will see some major changes. (Just last month, a Castro farmers market worker was struck by a car there.)

As with Market and Castro, bike lanes will be improved, and there are some sidewalk and concrete improvements on the way as well. Look for boarding island thumbnail islands, thru lane/turn lane guidance for bicycles and vehicles, and a reconstructed curb extension and curb ramp at the southeast corner of Market and 16th.

Two bulbouts are coming to the crosswalks at 16th and Market streets. | PHOTO: STEVEN BRACCO/HOODILINE

The intersection of Market, 16th and Noe will also see the addition of three bulbouts that are intended to improve pedestrian safety in the area. Currently, the proposed bulbouts are safety zones painted tan, but they will eventually be converted to concrete.

Market, Sanchez, and 15th streets. | Image: SFMTA

At Market, Sanchez, and 15th streets, the bike lane improvements continue, along with the addition of four bulbouts and a boarding island thumbnail island.

Market, Church, and 14th streets. | IMAGE: SFMTA

Moving down Market to Church and 14th streets, the bike lane improvements will be joined by a new bulbout at the southwest corner of Market and 14th, along with three new thumbnail island boarding islands.

Market at Buchanan and Duboce streets. | IMAGE: SFMTA

Finally, the intersection of Market with Buchanan and Duboce will see not only the standard bike lane improvements, but a parking-protected bike lane and a green bike box, which will be part of the Market-Octavia Public Realm Project. There will also bee a bulbout added at the southeast corner of Duboce and Market, where the current 'pork chop island' will be removed. The crosswalk at Dolores and Market will also be realigned and straightened, with a curb ramp added.

Upper Market Street circulation. | IMAGE: SFMTA

Some elements that are not part of the proposed changes will undergo continued study and outreach over the course of the fall, in the hopes of being added down the line. They include protected left turns along Market Street at Castro Street (eastbound and westbound) and 16th Street.

"After the community spoke out about the stressful nature of the complex six-legged intersections on the Market Street corridor," the SFMTA will also consider five "no left turn" prohibitions along Market: 16th Street eastbound, Noe Street both north- and southbound, and Sanchez street both north- and southbound. However, those plans are still subject to community review. 

SFMTA will be finalizing the design and environmental review of the proposed safety improvements this fall, with an engineering public hearing in late 2016. The agency will also continue doing outreach for the proposed curb management and circulation changes throughout the fall.