A Better Market Street

The city of San Francisco has began to actively put in place some initiatives to improve Market Street. These include a traffic improvement program (which began on September 29th) whereby private vehicles on eastbound Market Street are required to turn right at 8th and 6th Streets. Another plan, in partnership with community groups and building owners, is to pilot mini-plazas at strategic sidewalk locations offering seating, tables, landscaping, and windbreak systems.

Additionally, there is the Art in Storefront Project, which we have already mentioned here on the blog and in which GAFFTA plays a crucial role, and that will debut on October 23rd in the Mid Market and Tenderloin region.


During this trial period, the city needs your feedback on these initiatives and how these measured can be improved upon. To voice your opinion you can:

This November, voters will be asked to vote on a measure called Proposition D to create a “Mid-Market Sign District”. This measure seeks to establishes a new special sign district between Fifth and Seventh Streets on Market Street and to direct a share of the advertising revenues to support youth arts education programs in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods. You can read more about this measure and an analysis on SPUR’s website. Also this is an excellent blog to view a historical account of the Mid-Market section.


To find out more specifics about the proposals of the San Francisco’s Planning Commission for Market Street, you can view their Market Street webpage. According to the site:

“Market Street can and should be a great place. To realize this goal, five key city agencies, together with community partners, will initiate a number of improvements over the next six to twelve months to test ways to improve Market Street between the Embarcadero and Van Ness Avenue. Your direct feedback on these pilot ideas will inform the City’s larger plan to redesign Market Street as a more pedestrian, bicycle and transit-oriented street. This larger redesign is scheduled to break ground in 2013, and is anticipated to be completed in 2015.

A renewed Market Street will anchor neighborhoods, link public open spaces and connect the City’s Civic Center with cultural, social, convention, tourism, and retail destinations, as well as with the regional transit hub that will be centered at the planned Transbay Terminal. More than a transportation link, though, the renewed Market Street will be a place to stop and spend time, meet friends, watch people while sitting in a café, or just stroll and take in the scene.

Improvements will provide a safe, universally accessible, sustainable and enjoyable place to be that attracts more people on foot, bicycle and public transit to local shops, neighborhoods and area attractions. New signage will also direct motorists to area garages and freeways. Finally, improving Market Street will go hand in hand with various plans already being developed for the wonderful array of neighborhoods surrounding our city’s main street.”


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