Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2011

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences


Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

First Advisor

Corey Cook


For years, San Francisco has considered implementing a transit mall on Market Street from Van Ness Avenue to the Embarcadero in order to improve transit times, increase the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, and promote economic development. Efforts to improve Market Street have been underway ever since suburbanization trends began in the 1950s. Now the opportunity truly exists to transform Market Street because of its scheduled repaving in 2015.

Various cities across the United States created transit malls. While these malls can succeed, they can also fail. San Francisco has studied many ways to create a world-class boulevard, but there has not been a substantial analysis of how and why other transit malls have succeeded or failed. An in depth analysis of Denver’s 16th Street Mall and Sacramento’s K Street Mall reveals three factors that can determine the success of a transit mall. First, it is important to have an active management of the mall by creating a business improvement district where funds go towards repairs, security, and maintenance. Transit malls also need an organization to promote and arrange special events and draw people to the area. Finally, transit malls should be accompanied by development in the neighborhoods surrounding the mall. Without the structure to promote, maintain, and redevelop the area, most transit malls end up falling into disrepair.