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Market, Van Ness, and South Van Ness Today
Market, Van Ness, and South Van Ness Today
SFMTA Photo | SFMTA.com/photo, Jeremy Menzies

Mapping ten crucial street redesigns around the Hub

With up to 9,000 new homes incoming around Van Ness and Market the city must redraw some old lines in a tricky spot

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Market, Van Ness, and South Van Ness Today
| SFMTA Photo | SFMTA.com/photo, Jeremy Menzies

The area around Van Ness/South Van Ness and Market Street was once upon a time known as the Hub "because no fewer than four streetcar lines converged there," according to a joint Planning Department, SFMTA, and Public Works plan for the the future of the block.

Though it's been one of the most visually boring and least intriguing neighborhoods in the city for many years now, its time will come again. Very soon, in fact, as up to 9,000 new homes are coming to those few blocks.

Which means that the city must reconsider how these streets work, as they're already a network of intertwining car, bus, bike, and pedestrian routes tying key neighborhoods together, albeit in ways that are at times graceless and terribly unhelpful.

The Hub Public Realm Plan lays out changes for nine major San Francisco streets plus X connecting SoMa alleyways to hopefully make way for thousands of new neighborhood residents. Note that these are characterized only as "proposals" at this point. Nevertheless, here's how some at City Hall see the new map for an old neighborhood:

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1. Valencia Street

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375 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103
At the stretch of Valencia between Market and 15th streets, the city hopes to "redesign one of San Francisco’s busiest bike streets with one-way parking-protected bikeways for maximum safety, comfort, and long-term use" with bulb-outs, raised crosswalks, public art, and infill trees.

2. 11th Street

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11th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103
SoMa's connection to Market Street for cyclists. In the proposed plan, "The center turning lane would be repurposed to create a parking protected bicycle lane in both directions."
Google

3. 13th Street

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13th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103
13th Street between Folsom and Valencia "is a heavily-trafficked and auto-dominated street associated with the entry and exit to the Central Freeway." But because it's a flat stretch it's popular with bike riders, which is why Planning wants to add a protected bike lane between Valencia and Howard.
Google

4. South Van Ness

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1675 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103
The Hub plan calls for the often unappealing stretch between Mission and 13th streets to "be transformed into a boulevard design with planted medians to visually narrow the roadway and improve safety." The idea is to "accommodate but calm vehicular traffic" by widening sidewalks, adding mid-block crosswalks, and a median with trees between lanes.
Google

5. Otis Street

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San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30 & McCoppin St & Otis St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Yes, Otis Street, the weird, short, often frustrating accompaniment to Mission Street right at the hinge where SoMa gives way to the Mission. Presently only one-way, under the new design "from Gough to 13th Street parking would be removed on the east side to create a northbound travel lane to improve circulation and access from the Mission and the Central Freeway to Market and Franklin Streets."
Google

6. Mission Street and South Van Ness

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El Camino Real & Mission St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103
One of the messiest and most dangerous places on the entire San Francisco street grid, "a convergence of six different streets at different scales and unusual geometries." The plan notes this spot "has high rates of injury for all users, and is particularly uncomfortable for pedestrians." The new design would "calm traffic" by "defining crosswalks," creating a pedestrian refuge, and barring certain U-turns.
Google

7. Oak Street

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Franklin St & Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102
"The final block Oak Street, between Franklin and Market, is much different street in character from the rest of Oak Street" the plan notes. For one thing, it's a one-way stretch running the opposite direction as the rest of Oak, creating essentially an invisible wall to the rest of the street.. The new design adds a public plaza in hopes of creating some identity for this block, as well as opening up an emergency lane to accommodate the nearby firehouse.

8. Market & Gough

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Market St & Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94103
These days Market Street "is in the impossible role of trying to be all things for all modes of travel." The city wants more Muni subway entrances in Mid-Market, wider sidewalks, more bike space, and possibly even to block car access between 11th and 12th streets.
Google

9. 12th Street

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Market St & 12th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
An overlooked and rarely visited block, but "three new developments will line 12th Street with active ground floor uses" speeding up a "need to redesign 12th Street" by converting nearly half the roadway into parks, sidewalks, and greenery.
SF Planning

10. Van Ness Avenue

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The plan observes that the long underserved spot right at Van Ness and Market has "little to draw people and even less to make them stay." Whoof. But developers are gracing it with a mother load of new housing, so the city wants to add trees and canopies to cut down on wind (now there's an idea), add some pleasing visual panache to subway entrances, and, most significantly, "Restrict private vehicle access on Market Street."
SF Planning

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1. Valencia Street

375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
At the stretch of Valencia between Market and 15th streets, the city hopes to "redesign one of San Francisco’s busiest bike streets with one-way parking-protected bikeways for maximum safety, comfort, and long-term use" with bulb-outs, raised crosswalks, public art, and infill trees.
375 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94103

2. 11th Street

11th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
SoMa's connection to Market Street for cyclists. In the proposed plan, "The center turning lane would be repurposed to create a parking protected bicycle lane in both directions."
11th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103

3. 13th Street

13th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
13th Street between Folsom and Valencia "is a heavily-trafficked and auto-dominated street associated with the entry and exit to the Central Freeway." But because it's a flat stretch it's popular with bike riders, which is why Planning wants to add a protected bike lane between Valencia and Howard.
13th St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103

4. South Van Ness

1675 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
The Hub plan calls for the often unappealing stretch between Mission and 13th streets to "be transformed into a boulevard design with planted medians to visually narrow the roadway and improve safety." The idea is to "accommodate but calm vehicular traffic" by widening sidewalks, adding mid-block crosswalks, and a median with trees between lanes.
1675 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

5. Otis Street

San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30 & McCoppin St & Otis St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
Yes, Otis Street, the weird, short, often frustrating accompaniment to Mission Street right at the hinge where SoMa gives way to the Mission. Presently only one-way, under the new design "from Gough to 13th Street parking would be removed on the east side to create a northbound travel lane to improve circulation and access from the Mission and the Central Freeway to Market and Franklin Streets."
San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30 & McCoppin St & Otis St
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. Mission Street and South Van Ness

El Camino Real & Mission St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
One of the messiest and most dangerous places on the entire San Francisco street grid, "a convergence of six different streets at different scales and unusual geometries." The plan notes this spot "has high rates of injury for all users, and is particularly uncomfortable for pedestrians." The new design would "calm traffic" by "defining crosswalks," creating a pedestrian refuge, and barring certain U-turns.
El Camino Real & Mission St & San Francisco Bicycle Rte 30
San Francisco, CA 94103

7. Oak Street

Franklin St & Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102
"The final block Oak Street, between Franklin and Market, is much different street in character from the rest of Oak Street" the plan notes. For one thing, it's a one-way stretch running the opposite direction as the rest of Oak, creating essentially an invisible wall to the rest of the street.. The new design adds a public plaza in hopes of creating some identity for this block, as well as opening up an emergency lane to accommodate the nearby firehouse.
Franklin St & Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. Market & Gough

Market St & Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Google
These days Market Street "is in the impossible role of trying to be all things for all modes of travel." The city wants more Muni subway entrances in Mid-Market, wider sidewalks, more bike space, and possibly even to block car access between 11th and 12th streets.
Market St & Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94103

9. 12th Street

Market St & 12th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
SF Planning
An overlooked and rarely visited block, but "three new developments will line 12th Street with active ground floor uses" speeding up a "need to redesign 12th Street" by converting nearly half the roadway into parks, sidewalks, and greenery.
Market St & 12th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

10. Van Ness Avenue

1500 Market Street, San Francisco
SF Planning
The plan observes that the long underserved spot right at Van Ness and Market has "little to draw people and even less to make them stay." Whoof. But developers are gracing it with a mother load of new housing, so the city wants to add trees and canopies to cut down on wind (now there's an idea), add some pleasing visual panache to subway entrances, and, most significantly, "Restrict private vehicle access on Market Street."