City seeks ideas for Market Street redo


A plan to improve public transportation and the use of public space along 36 blocks of Market Street will now include project ideas from the public.

The San Francisco Planning Department and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is hosting the Market Street Prototyping Festival from Oct. 2 through Oct. 4.

Between now and July 3, the planning department is accepting proposals aimed improving the public spaces along Market Street. Any individual, business or nonprofit can submit a proposal (Click here for more information on how to submit a proposal).

Up to 50 proposals will get chosen and showcased during the three-day festival in October along Market Street. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is providing $225,000 to help put on the festival.

Proposals selected for the festival will get announced on July 13.

The designers selected to participate in the festival will receive $2,000 to build their prototype. The Planning Department expects a wide range of broad ideas, including innovative street furniture, interactive wayfinding schemes and new types of lighting.

Selected teams will work with community members and design leaders such as The Exploratorium, California College of The Arts and The Studio for Urban Projects to help shape the projects.

Neil Hrushowy, a planning department manager and lead urban designer for the Better Market Street project, said the festival helps get the public involved in shaping Market Street:

“This festival will engage an enormous number of people, and they will not just be talking about the future of Market Street, but designing it, forming it, touching it, and creating it together.”

The Planning Department said select teams will be work with the City to build out their projects either to become permanent or semi-permanent fixtures throughout Market Street after the festival.

Designs will be a part of The City’s Better Market Street plan — a project to overhaul Market Street to make it a more pedestrian, bicycle and transit friendly thoroughfare.

The project is currently in its environmental phase as staff review three project options. The construction for project is not until 2017, according to the Better Market Street website.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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