Plans to transform Market Street got a boost, but your voice is needed this month at “pop-ups”
It’s high time for Market Street to become the grand boulevard it should be for people walking, biking, and taking public transportation – and the crown jewel of the city.
Yet the kind of transformative improvements Market Street needs have been more talk than action for years.
Finally, there’s news that should give a boost to the multi-agency Better Market Street initiative, which will bring big safety, streetscape, infrastructure, and transit upgrades along 2.2 miles of Market from Octavia Boulevard to Steuart Street.
The City secured $15 million in federal funds in December for the Better Market Street project. These funds should help keep the project on track, and potentially attract other federal grants. This funding also signals to all of us that now is the time to push a people-first Market Street to the finish line.
And Market Street can’t be transformed fast enough. Half a million people walk on Market Street each day – more than on any other street in the city. Buses are slogging along and bicyclists still don’t have protected lanes. Market Street – our city’s “main street” – has the highest per-mile crash rate of all streets in San Francisco. Without transforming Market Street, achieving Vision Zero will be impossible.
Later this year, the plans for the first phase of the Better Market Street project (5th to 8th Street) should go to the SFMTA and Board of Supervisors for final approval, with groundbreaking anticipated in 2020.
We think that the groundbreaking is a perfect time to realize a dream many of us share for Market: no more private vehicles eastbound between 10th Street and Spear Street and westbound between Steuart Street and Van Ness Avenue.
We’ll be pushing for this over the next months, which is why we’ll be calling on you (a lot!) to help build momentum for transformative changes to Market Street. And this starts right now!
The Better Market Street project is holding a series of “pop-ups” this month where you can review plans and talk with the project team directly about what pedestrians need to be safe.
These pop-ups will be held in the lobby of A.C.T.’s Strand Theater (which also has a nice coffee shop) at 1127 Market Street, across from UN Plaza.
POP-UP SCHEDULE & TOPICS
- Thursday, Feb. 7: 1:30 – 3:30 pm Loading
- Tuesday, Feb. 12: 10 am – noon Transit changes/transit shelters
- Thursday, Feb. 14: 1:30 – 3:30 pm Proposed sidewalk level bikeway
- Tuesday, Feb. 19: 10 am – noon Transit changes/transit shelters
- Thursday, Feb. 21: 1:30 – 3:30 pm Loading
- Tuesday, Feb. 26: 10 a.m.-noon Transit
- Thursday, Feb. 28: 1:30 – 3:30 pm Landscape, trees and public realm
While the pop-ups have specific topics assigned to them, you can attend any one of them to talk about pedestrian safety issues.
We want the City to hear loud and clear that people walking need:
- The removal of private vehicles
- Plenty of sidewalk space
- Clear and consistent separation between the sidewalk-level bike lane and the sidewalk
- Shorter crossings at every intersection for greater safety
- The safest possible design at intersections, including shorter crossings and the removal of the triangular “pork chop” islands that force pedestrians to cross twice just to continue along Market
Banner image: Michael Halberstadt