Overview
An image of cars at Octavia and Market

Introduction

When the Central Freeway was being rebuilt after the Loma Prieta Earthquake, San Francisco voters chose a new path forward: The City would end the freeway at Market Street, and turn the remainder of the road into a new boulevard. Octavia Boulevard opened in 2005. 

After the new configuration opened, traffic patterns were redistributed with various effects on local and citywide circulation. 

The Transportation Authority’s 2012 Central Freeway and Octavia Circulation Study evaluated the performance of the transportation system in the Market-Octavia area and recommend changes for improving travel options and traffic management in the area. 

The study:
  • Documents existing conditions of the transportation system
  • Recommends a framework for improving circulation and multimodal performance in the study area
  • Identifies a set of multimodal transportation improvements through technical review and public input
  • Develops a funding and implementation strategy to support study recommendations

The Central Freeway and Octavia Boulevard Circulation Study serves as a vehicle for discussion and coordination among local and regional stakeholders, while providing policy guidance for ensuring integration with the larger regional and long-term needs.

Image
A map of the study area

Project/Study Partners

Throughout the study process, the Transportation Authority solicited input from a variety of sources, including community stakeholders, partner agency staff, institutional representatives, and the general public. The study included a Technical Advisory Committee, composed of partner agency staff from agencies including the SFMTA, SF Planning, SF Public Works, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Caltrans. 

Cost and Funding 

This study was made possible by a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission through the Station Area Planning Program. 

Resources

Memo: Transportation Authority Board, September 2012 (PDF)

Executive summary, 2012 (PDF)

Final report: Central Freeway and Octavia Circulation Study, 2012 (PDF)

SFMTA webpage: Octavia Boulevard Enhancement Project

Contact 

Rachel Hiatt, Principal Planner

Background

When the Central Freeway was being rebuilt after the Loma Prieta Earthquake, San Francisco voters chose a new path forward: The City would end the freeway at Market Street, and turn the remainder of the road into a new boulevard. Octavia Boulevard opened in 2005. 

The Market-Octavia neighborhood has seen several transformative efforts in recent years, most notably the opening of the Octavia Boulevard/Central Freeway project in 2005 and the adoption in 2007 of the Market and Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan. Octavia Boulevard is the first roadway of its kind in the United States in 80 years, redefining traffic engineering practice through a design that departed from standard highway design in order to complement and minimize impacts on surrounding land uses.. The Octavia Boulevard project has delivered a transportation facility that provides neighborhood access to a regional freeway while providing an attractive public space.

The Transportation Authority’s Central Freeway and Octavia Circulation Study evaluated the performance of the transportation system in the Market-Octavia area and recommend changes for improving travel options and traffic management in the area. The study focused on multimodal and system-level perspectives. These multimodal transportation issues include:

  • Transit routing and reliability, and connectivity to regional transit
  • Automobile traffic circulation
  • Pedestrian crossings and facilities
  • Bicycle access
  • General wayfinding
  • Travel demand management strategies

The study was designed to help support and advance key priorities of the Market and Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan including improved pedestrian circulation and transit facilities, as well as conversion of streets from one-way to two-way operation.

Related programs

A parking meter

One of best tools to manage the volume of traffic on our streets is charging a fair price to use our roads.
Bicyclists and transit vehicles on Market Street

Transportation Demand Management seeks to break down barriers to taking trips by transit, bicycling, walking, or carpooling and discourage drive-alone trips.