Private Auto Restrictions Closer to Coming to Market Street

Corrections & Clarifications: Our Biker Bulletin newsletter originally stated that private automobile restrictions are on the way to Market Street, but the reality is there is still one more approval at the SFMTA Board level the plan must pass through in order to go into effect.

Market Street is our city’s busiest bikeway, as well as one of the busiest bike routes in the country. On an average day, bikes account for 67% of all Market Street traffic and a whopping 76% of all traffic on Bike to Work Day.

But Market Street is also known as one of the most dangerous corridors in the city for people biking and walking. Changes are afoot as part of Safer Market Street, the City’s project in support of Vision Zero: ending all traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2024.

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for transforming Market Street for decades, and Friday was a big day, as plans to increase private auto restrictions on Market Street from 3rd to 8th Streets were introduced at an engineering hearing of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) with nearly unanimous support.

Turn restrictions proposed from 8th to 3rd Streets by the Safer Market Street project.

Turn restrictions proposed from 8th to 3rd Streets by the Safer Market Street project.

These restrictions would prevent private automobiles from turning onto Market Street from north-south crossing streets, reduce existing conflicts at intersections and free up space on Market Street for MUNI buses and thousands of daily bicyclists. Restrictions for private autos would exempt taxis, commercial vehicles and paratransit.

We joined members of the community, the Vision Zero Coalition and Market Street business groups in speaking out in strong support  of the proposed restriction’s  enormous benefits for safety,  transit performance, plus the positive economic impact this will have as Market Street gets one step closer to becoming the grand boulevard many have envisioned for decades.

Friday’s hearing was the last public meeting for the project before the project is heard by the full SFMTA Board in late April or early May. Once approved, the project will be implemented in phases over the summer and completed in the fall of 2015.

We’ve been calling for expanded auto restrictions on Market for years, and this project is a win for everyone: improved safety for people walking and biking; more efficient transit; and clearer directions for people driving in our downtown. Thank you to the many, many members who have worked on this issue with us tenaciously.

Help Get Safer Market Over the Finish Line!

  • Sign up for updates on Market Street projects, including how you can support Safer Market Street through our Market campaign.
  • If you’re not already a member, support our ongoing work to make Market Street better for biking, walking and transit by becoming a member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition today!
Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.