Frequently asked questions about the Market Street Project

1. What is the Better Market Street Project?


The Better Market Street project offers a special opportunity to envision a new Market Street that is more beautiful and green; has enlivened public plazas and sidewalks full of cafes; showcases public art and performances; provides dedicated bicycle facilities; and delivers efficient and reliable transit. The goal of the project is to revitalize Market Street and reestablish the street as the premier cultural, civic and economic center of San Francisco and the Bay Area.



2. What is the study area?


The project encompasses Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and The Embarcadero and Mission Street between South Van Ness and The Embarcadero. The transportation system analysis will include blocks south and north of Market and Mission streets.



3. What are the project goals?


We will create a sense of PLACE, optimize MOBILITY, and foster ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT by:

  • Supporting the City of San Francisco's planned growth and economic development.
  • Providing faster and more reliable transit service for all users.
  • Improving safety, comfort and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Creating thriving public spaces that attract a diversity of people and uses.



4. What is the project schedule?


  • 2011 - 2015:  Public visioning, existing conditions studies and conceptual planning.
  • 2015 - 2019:  Environmental review.
  • 2017 2021:  Design and engineering.
  • 2022:  Begin construction.



5. How is the public involved?


Phase I of the Better Market Street project included a visioning process that collected broad input from the local communities through a series of coordinated workshops, online comments, social media venues, and other outreach venues. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was also formed as part of Phase I to provide feedback to the project team.


The City will provide project updates and solicit input at a series of public meetings as part of the environmental review process in Phase II. In addition, the CAC will continue during Phase II with the first CAC meeting in March 2014. The CAC will serve as an additional channel to disseminate project information to the community and for the project team to receive feedback from the community as phase II advances.


6. How much will the project cost?


Better Market Street's final design and construction cost will depend both on the alternative selected as well as on the further refinement of the design. Our preliminary estimate shows that proposed project will cost approximately $400 million. Funding will come from the voter approved 2014 San Francisco Transportation and Road Improvement Bond and other state, local and federal sources. The importance of Market Street as a local, regional, national, and international transportation corridor and destination warrants significant investment.



7. Are you considering car restrictions on Market Street?


This strategy is one of many under consideration as a potential component to meet the goals of the project, including improvements to transit reliability, bicycling and pedestrian safety, economic development and placemaking. The potential impacts will be studied carefully and we will weigh the impacts of each of the strategies along with their potential benefits to arrive at the preferred strategy.



8. What is the construction schedule and how will its impacts be mitigated?


The current phase of work is studying three options for improving Market Street, and our goal is to start construction by in 2018. Once a preferred design is chosen, the city will work with the community members and businesses to ensure the least impact possible during construction.



9. Who is guiding the project?


The Better Market Street project is being conducted by an interagency design team, led by staff from the San Francisco Public Works (DPW), and includes: the Planning Department (urban design lead), the Municipal Transportation Agency (transportation lead), the Public Utilities Commission, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the County Transportation Authority. In addition the City has contracted with a team of experts to carry forward the next phase of the project, which will involve preparation of technical analysis and environmental documentation to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This team is being led by ICF International and includes some of the same key consultants that participated in the first phase of the project: Parisi Transportation Consulting, Fehr & Peers, and CHS Consulting Group. Please see Project Teams to see the full environmental consultant team.


Better Market Street: Fact Sheet

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Better Market Street:
Fact Sheet