San Francisco’s Market Street went car-free on Wednesday


San Francisco is the latest of a growing number of cities to close off some or all of the centre to private vehicles.


One of San Francisco’s busiest and most dangerous stretches, Market Street, is now car-free.

Mayor London Breed said the move, along with other measures, would improve safety and help ensure a better flow of public transport.

San Francisco is the latest of a growing number of cities to close off some or all of the centre to private vehicles.

The ban on private cars east of 10th Street includes passenger vehicles and for-hire ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Other actions, as part of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Quick Build programme, include extending Muni-only lanes, new loading zones and intersection safety improvements.

Every year in San Francisco, approximately 30 people are killed and over 500 more are severely injured on the roads. Half of San Francisco’s top ten intersections for injury collisions involving people walking or biking are on Market Street. Further, Market Street sees upwards of 200 buses per hour during peak times.

Quick Build

The Quick Build programme is an SFMTA effort to quickly implement pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. The agency has committed to delivering 15 reversible quick-build projects during 2020, while also working on broader longer-term street changes for major capital projects.

Mayor London Breed said the move, along with other measures, would improve safety and help ensure a better flow of public transport.

“After years of discussion, activism, and planning, 2020 is the year we will truly put people first on Market Street,” said Mayor Breed. “Starting today, San Francisco’s main civic boulevard will be returned to pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders – making it safer for everyone who uses it and helping us make progress on our Vision Zero and climate goals.”

The improvements are being carried out under the Better Market Street Plan, which was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in October 2019. The Better Market Street Project is a planning and decision-making collaboration between numerous city agencies and led by the Public Works department.

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