poster on street pole and a trolley going down Market street
Downtown/Civic Center

Better Market Street Environmental Review Process

The Planning Department is conducting environmental review of the Better Market Street project in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The environmental review process provides decision-makers and the general public with an objective analysis of the immediate and long-range specific and cumulative environmental impacts of a proposed project on its surrounding physical environment. In California, environmental review is two-fold in purpose: to disclose the impacts of a project and to ensure public participation. The San Francisco Planning Department serves as the Lead Agency and is preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) to evaluate the environmental effects of the proposed Better Market Street project.

The project sponsor, San Francisco Public Works (Public Works), in coordination with the Citywide Planning Division of the San Francisco Planning Department and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), proposes to redesign and provide various transportation and streetscape improvements to the 2.2-mile segment of Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and The Embarcadero. The proposed project has been developed through an extensive public outreach process that has defined integrated design priorities for Market Street, including improving mobility, enhancing access and the public realm experience, reducing conflict and friction between travel modes, and establishing a unique identity. The initial study for the proposed project, published on March 30, 2016, considered the following three alternatives and two design options:

  • Alternative 1: Market Street (Complete Street and Transit Priority Improvements)
  • Alternative 2: Market Street Moderate Alternative (Complete Street and Moderate Transit Priority Improvements)
  • Alternative 3: Market Street + Mission Street (Complete Street and Transit Priority Improvements on Market plus Bicycle Facility Improvements on Mission)

Since that time, Public Works, SFMTA and the Planning Department have considered public input and evaluated the feasibility of these alternatives and design options, including whether they would avoid or substantially lower one or more significant impacts of the proposed project, and to what degree they would meet the project objectives.

As a result, these three alternatives and two design options have been refined into a single project on Market Street consisting of both transportation and streetscape improvements, including changes to roadway configuration and private vehicle access; traffic signals; surface transit, including transit-only lanes, stop spacing, service, stop location, stop characteristics and infrastructure; bicycle facilities; pedestrian facilities; streetscapes; commercial and passenger loading; vehicular parking; and utilities.

In general, the proposed project would continue to provide four travel lanes on Market Street, with two center lanes and two curb lanes between Franklin and Beale streets. More than four lanes west of Franklin Street and three lanes east of Beale Street would be provided. The width of the vehicular travel lanes would remain approximately the same as existing conditions. New sidewalk-level bicycle lanes would be installed in each direction on Market Street between the curbside lanes and sidewalks, and a new street-level parking protected bicycle lane would be installed on Valencia Street between Market and McCoppin streets.

For more information on the Better Market Street project, please visit the following webpage:  http://www.bettermarketstreetsf.org.

If you have general questions regarding the environmental review for this project, please contact:

Chris Thomas, AICP
Environmental Planner
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 575-9036 or christopher.thomas@sfgov.org