Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated $23 million for safety upgrades along San Francisco’s Howard Street through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) initiative.
“Making the Howard Street corridor safer will save lives and prevent injuries will also encouraging more people to safely use our bike network in the South of Market area,” said Mayor London Breed. “We have moved quickly to open protected bike lanes with temporary dividers on Howard Streets, and this will allow us to build on that success and make these changes with more permanent infrastructure. I am thankful for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support of making our streets safer and her advocacy to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg this spring to fund the Howard Streetscape Project.”
“Yesterday’s announcement is a vital step toward ensuring all San Franciscans can safely share our streets – including on foot or on a bicycle,” Speaker Pelosi said. “This $23 million federal investment will help build the safer, greener Howard Street that our City deserves: saving lives, easing commutes, and brining communities closer together. As San Francisco’s proud representative in the Congress, it was my privilege to help secure this transformative funding, and I will continue fighting alongside Mayor London Breed to achieve our Vision Zero – ending traffic fatalities in San Francisco by 2024.”
Located in the South of Market neighborhood (SoMa), between 11th and 4th streets, the Howard Streetscape Project will improve safety on a high-injury corridor, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support the City’s transformative vision for SoMa as a regional hub, and improve mobility for visitors and residents, including low-income populations who depend most upon riding transit, walking, and bicycling. The transformation of this corridor received strong community engagement and support from safety advocates in San Francisco.
“All through COVID we’ve been experimenting with street safety improvements using plastic and paint,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “We’re grateful for Speaker Pelosi’s support to upgrade our successful pilots with concrete and trees.”
The funding will transform a three-lane westbound, dangerous, and heavily travelled arterial to a proposed two-lane street with bike infrastructure improvements including a protected two-way bikeway, protected intersections and separate bicycle and vehicle phases, pedestrian infrastructure improvements such as raised crosswalks at alleyways, curb ramps and pedestrian-level lighting, and civic amenity zones that include decorative crosswalks and historic plaques and green infrastructure indicative of a safe street design built to protect the most vulnerable road users.
Between 2014 and 2019, three fatalities occurred on the corridor, along with 152 traffic crashes on the Folsom-Howard couplet, with more than half of these involving people walking or biking.
More information about the project is available at sfmta.com/FolsomHoward.