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Stockton Street to reopen for traffic

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Nearly seven-year construction closure finally cut short

Stockton Street
Intersection of Sutter and Stockton streets near Union Square with construction in the background
Photo by Joe Benning/Shutterstock

According to SFMTA, the entirety of Stockton Street will soon be open to through traffic once again, after the upcoming conclusion of a nearly seven-year-long construction closure of the street’s southernmost portion.

In 2012, the city cordoned off the stretch of Stockton between Geary and Ellis to accommodate the creation of the new Central Subway, specifically the Union Square-Market Street Station, which the city projects will be the busiest of the four new subway stops.

On Tuesday, SFMTA announced that those blocks will finally reopen to traffic on February 22.

The 8, 8AX, 8BX, and 91 OWL Muni routes will return to their old layouts and begin using the reopened Stockton blocks on February 25. The busy 45 and 30 lines “will begin their return to the previous route alignment later this year after construction in the area is farther along.”

The reopening is welcome news for Stockton Street merchants, who have complained for years that the closure and construction work have hurt business.

This also means the end of the annual Winter Walk on Stockton Street.

In 2016, the city considered never reopening the closed portions of Stockton to car traffic and permanently converting the two blocks into a pedestrian village.

Opposition by the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and late lobbyist Rose Pak scuttled that idea; Chinatown merchants rely on Stockton Street as a key route for deliveries.

Under the current timetable, the Central Subway will be open for passenger service by December of this year.