(Compiled by Bob Bush)
With the goal of simplifying Market Street’s complex intersections and improving safety, the SFMTA is looking to finalize a proposal for new turn restrictions as part of the Upper Market Safety Project. Current plans, which are not yet final, call for prohibiting Left-turns onto Market Street from Noe and Sanchez Streets (both directions) and Eastbound 16th Street. New protected left-turn arrows, also known as “protected left turns,” are proposed for Westbound 16th onto Market Street and both Outbound and Inbound Market Street onto Castro Street. The Inbound Market to Northbound Castro Left Turn is new.
There will be more vehicular traffic in the Triangle and altered traffic flow around the Triangle as a result of the planned SFMTA Upper Market Circulation Changes. There will be more traffic on 15th Street, Castro Street and Westbound 18th Street, and expected less on Noe and 16th Streets. There will no longer be direct access to 16th Street from within the Triangle. The only access to Inbound Market Street from within the Triangle will be from 14th, 15th, or Herman Streets. There will be no Left Turns from Noe or Sanchez Streets at Market Street. Access to the South side of Market Street between Noe and Sanchez will only be from Inbound Market Street, accessed by crossing Market Street to gain access to Westbound 16th Street or Northbound Castro Street, and then back to Inbound Market Street.
The Triangle is bordered by 2 major traffic routes (Castro and Market Streets) and traversed by 2 routes (Noe and 14th Street). Castro-Divisadero and Noe-Scott Streets are the only through routes from Noe & Eureka Valleys to Geary Street, the Fillmore, Pacific Heights, the Marina and the Golden Gate Bridge. Currently, the Triangle via Southbound Noe Street provides access to 16th Street (the major through street to south SOMA) and to Inbound Market Street (for access to downtown, north SOMA and the freeways & Bay Bridge), and Sanchez, 14th & 15th Streets provide access to Inbound Market Street. With the proposed changes, Southbound Noe Street will no longer provide direct access to Eastbound 16th Street or Inbound Market Street, and Sanchez will not provide access to Inbound Market Street or Eastbound 15th Street. Southbound Noe Street will provide access to Outbound Market Street and Westbound 16th Street. Northbound Noe Street will provide access to Inbound Market Street and Eastbound 16th Street.
The new protected left turn from Inbound Market onto Northbound Castro Street will increase Castro traffic and has the potential to decrease left turns onto Noe Street, as long as cuing on Castro for the 16th Street arterial stop sign does not dissuade Market Street traffic from using Castro Street. Divisadero-Castro South already has increased traffic from diverting Southbound Scott Street traffic at Fell Street over to Divisadero. Once on Divisadero one can turn back to Noe Street starting at Oak Street.
If one wants to avoid Divisadero-Castro when driving South on Scott-Noe, turn left on Hayes before Fell Street and then right on Pierce or Steiner, and after crossing Oak Street, right again back to Noe. You could just take Steiner instead of Scott south, but it ends at Duboce and you still have to get back to Noe to get to Eureka/Noe Valley. Steiner/Sanchez only gets you to 19th Street.
Southbound Noe and Sanchez to Inbound Market Street
Southbound Noe-Scott and Sanchez-Steiner traffic will not be able to turn left onto Inbound Market Street. One must access 14th or 15th Street to turn left onto Inbound Market Street
Southbound Sanchez to 16th Street
No change. Continue on Southbound Sanchez Street to 16th Street.
Inbound Market to Northbound Castro
Castro-Divisadero South to 15th Street-16th Street
With no left turn at Eastbound 16th Street and Market Street, Southbound Castro traffic will need to turn left onto 15th Street to access Inbound Market Street and Southbound Sanchez Street. To access 16th Street there is no change. Southbound Castro traffic will continue to proceed to 16th Street and turn Left onto Eastbound 16th Street. One will not have access to Inbound Market Street from Eastbound 16th Street at Market Street.
Access to South Side of Market Street between Noe and Sanchez
The South Side of Market Street between Noe and Sanchez can only be accessed from Inbound Market Street. With No left turn from Eastbound16th Street East or Southbound Noe Street at Market Street, one will need to cross Market on Noe Street to 17th Street, turn left to Sanchez, then turn left onto Westbound 16th Street, and then Right onto Inbound Market Street. Or take Sanchez Southbound to 16th Street, turn right on Westbound 16th Street to Market Street and then Right onto Inbound Market Street (for Mail Access large packages, One Hour Cleaners, Photoworks).
One could also head south on Noe Street to 18th Street, turn right to Castro, turn right on Castro to Market Street and then turn Right onto Inbound Market Street, but that would be an even longer alternate route.
Steiner-Sanchez to Inbound Market Street
From Southbound Steiner Street, you can get to Inbound Market Street via Eastbound Herman Street, or via Sanchez to 14th Street.
Northbound Noe and Sanchez to Outbound Market Street
Northbound Noe-Scott and Sanchez-Steiner traffic remain unchanged, except for no left turn at Market Street. Northbound traffic on Noe from the Noe & Eureka Valleys will need to turn left onto 18th Street and get West of Castro Street before maneuvering onto Westbound Market Street, or will need to turn Right to access Northbound Sanchez Street to access Westbound 16th Street to get to Outbound Market Street. Northbound traffic on Sanchez will need to turn left on 16th Street to get onto Westbound Market Street.
Also, Northbound Sanchez traffic will no longer be able to turn left onto 15th Street to enter the Triangle. One will need to proceed on Sanchez and turn left on Henry or 14th Street.
Southbound Noe to Eastbound 16th Street
With no left turn at Market Street, Southbound Noe traffic will need to cross Market turn left onto 17th Street, then turn Left onto Sanchez to 16th Street, or take 15th Street to Sanchez, turn Right onto Sanchez to 16th Street.
Southbound Castro Street to Inbound Market Street