San Francisco Bicycle Coalition member and tireless advocate, Paul Valdez has been pushing for improvements on Market Street for a decade. With improvements on Market Street up for approval this year, we caught up with Paul to get his vision for a Market Street that is safe and accessible for all.
(In the next few weeks, we’ll be hosting design workshops to get other members feedback on the upcoming plans for Market Street. Get involved and share your thoughts for what the future of Market should be by attending our next meeting on September 12.)
Paul, how did you get involved in the fight for Market Street?
I was tired of complaining about the condition of the streets and the lack of safe infrastructure on Market Street, so I became a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition.
As a member, I was able to voice my concerns at hearings and community workshops. I shared my daily cycling experiences at various working groups aimed at transforming the different Market street events and projects over the years. I also participated in a focus group for the Raised Bikeway Demonstration Project on Upper Market back in 2015.
With changes made so far, the commute I’ve had for nearly a decade has noticeably improved. The turn restrictions that were part of the 2015 Safer Market Street Project were a great win — but more is needed.
What is your vision for Market street?
My vision is the Better Market Street Project. Plain and simple. I think the plan will make Market Street an enjoyable street for all to use — whether you’re walking, biking, or taking transit. My vision is to ban private vehicles altogether from Octavia Blvd. to the Embarcadero to achieve this.
If you could change one thing about Market Street right now, what would it be?
I’ve been advocating for near-term solutions ahead of the Better Market Street Project breaking ground, specifically at Market/Sansome/Sutter. I used Twitter to bring attention to this deadly intersection and Streetsblog SF featured it in an article: A Jug-handle for Sansome/Market Intersection?
What is your favorite thing about/part of Market Street today?
For me, it’s the protected bike infrastructure. We need more of it!
You too can make your voice be heard by joining the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Market Street committee at our our upcoming design workshop. RSVP today: