Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SFCTA Agrees to Study Car-Free Market Street

Rachel Gordon of the (soon to be extinct?) SF Chronicle reports that the SF County Transportation Authority voted yesterday to study the effects of restricting cars on Market, between Van Ness and the Embarcadero.

According to Gordon the study is to be finished in three months and will provide a comprehensive analysis of the effects of banning cars outright, or of limiting their access in other ways.

The comments on that article on SF Gate are as divorced from reality as comments on that site usually are, so I wouldn't recommend reading them unless you want to frustrate yourself. But I would definitely encourage everyone who reads this to write a letter to the editor of the Chronicle expressing support for the study, and for a car-free Market Street. You can email your letters to From experience I can tell you that your letter stands a decent chance of getting printed, and it will influence the dialogue about the issue.

Just for fun, here are a couple of simulations of what Market Street could look like with fewer cars or no cars. These simulations were created by a transportation engineer named Gregory Riessen, but it's not clear if they were done as part of any specific plan or study, or just for fun:


Sarah H said...

It was just pointed out to me, and I think I agree, that one lane in each direction for all of the Market Street transit lines to share is unrealistic (unless we are talking about redirecting some of the transit to other streets, which doesn't sound to me like an unreasonable idea). I love the bidirectional bike lane! I hope that is actually in the plans which are being considered.

Pedestrianist said...

I'm not sure what level these simulations rose to, I just remembered seeing them a while back so I thought I'd throw them in for illustration.

I agree, Transit can't take only one lane on Market. As it is now it overflows two lanes. That would calm down a great deal without cars and even taxis blocking the road for right turns, drop-off, etc. but buses would still need two lanes to pass one another.