The Mission Creek Bikeway (MCB) is envisioned as an improved bicycle and pedestrian route along a former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, abandoned in 1991. The route, which parallels Division Street and the once-navigable Mission Creek (now underground) in San Francisco, would provide an attractive and safe connection from the Mission District to Mission Bay and the eastern waterfront, including the 4th Street Caltrain station and San Francisco Giants' ballpark. The southeast quadrant of San Francisco is undergoing rapid change and development, evolving into a mix of high-density residential and commercial mixed use with light industrial. The MCB corridor provides an important opportunity to improve bicycle and pedestrian access through this corridor to the Bay and other major destination points, as the major street grids of South of Market, the Mission and Potrero Hill all intersect here, with a half dozen major thoroughfares meeting Division Street.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy joined in partnership with the City of San Francisco, Madrina Group, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to develop the Mission Creek Bikeway and Greenbelt Concept Plan in 2002 to describe opportunities for establishing the route. The improved route would include a combination of streetscape and sidewalk improvements, traffic calming, bike lanes, bike paths and interpretive and way-finding signage. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed resolutions 474-01 and 456-02 in support of the Mission Creek Bikeway Project urging city agencies to review and pursue opportunities for furthering the project. Pursuant to that directive, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy entered into an agreement with the San Francisco Bay Trail Project to produce this study.