San Francisco, CA – Community leaders and City officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking today to mark the start of construction on the transformational Second Street Improvements Project that will bolster safety and beautify the bustling South of Market corridor.
The $20 million streetscape project runs along Second Street from Market Street to King Street.
“We are making this important neighborhood corridor a more inviting and safer place for the thousands of people who use it every day, whether they walk, bike, drive or ride transit,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “By investing in this new streetscape, we are meeting the needs and addressing the challenges of our ever-growing and changing City.”
Construction, managed by San Francisco Public Works, began this week and is anticipated to continue through fall 2019. The project will be built in phases to minimize construction impacts in the neighborhood. The work is moving forward after more than 50 community meetings, where City agencies gathered public input to help shape the final plan.
"This is a key corridor in a changing neighborhood where most of our streets are arteries to the freeway, which prioritize cars. With this project, Second Street will become a neighborhood-oriented corridor with wider sidewalks for residents and Giants fans and a protected bike lane for our cyclists,” said District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the area.
The streetscape makeover features widened sidewalks between Harrison and Townsend streets; ADA-compliant curb ramps; new street trees; and upgraded site furnishings that include trash receptacles, bike racks, benches and pedestrian lighting. Overhead utility wires will undergrounded between Bryant and Townsend streets.
Safety enhancements include high-visibility crosswalks, traffic signal upgrades, sidewalk bulb-outs to shorten pedestrian crossings, raised crosswalks at alleys, bus boarding islands and raised bikeways. Improvements also include sewer upgrades and paving.
To make room for the safety improvements, traffic lanes, at most times of the day, will be pared from two to one in both directions; the number of curbside parking spaces also will be reduced.
“While only eight blocks long, Second Street is buzzing with activity day and night,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “Data from other streetscape projects in the City has shown that infrastructure upgrades like these coming to the South of Market bring even more vibrancy to neighborhoods and serve as positive game-changers.”
The project is a multiagency collaboration involving San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco Planning, Caltrans and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.
“The Second Street Improvement Project redesigns this critical north-south connector in eastern SoMa into a safer, more welcoming street for all road users, especially those travelling on bike or on foot,” said Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
Added Planning Director John Rahaim, “As San Francisco continues to grow, smart and safer streetscape designs are necessary to keep our city moving and make our streets more comfortable for residents and businesses.”
Katy Liddell, president of the South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association, said community participation was key in coming up with a design that balances the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit and drivers. “We are incredibly grateful to Supervisor Kim, Public Works and the SFMTA for supporting the process, for listening to all who participated and for pushing this important project forward to make Second Street a great experience for all of us who live here, work here and who come to cheer on the Giants,” she said.
"Second Street is a key SoMa bike route, and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members have fought for years to see this project realized. It also is on the City's Vision Zero High Injury Network, where collisions are known to occur,” said Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the advocacy group. “We’re excited the protected bike lanes are moving forward.”
The project is funded in part by One Bay Area Grants and the Federal Highway Administration, SoMa Development Impact fees and local Proposition K sales tax revenue.
“The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is proud to support the Second Street Improvements Project with $11 million in federal One Bay Area Grant funds and matching local half-cent transportation sales tax dollars,” said Tilly Chang, the authority’s executive director. “This project exemplifies the types of improvements that San Francisco needs to enhance safety and access in a growing city.”
Additional project information can be found at www.sfpublicworks.org/secondstreet.