SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) board approved the Safer Market Street Plan on June 16. This will restrict the places private cars can take a turn on Market Street between 3rd and 8th Streets.
The plan is a part of Vision Zero, which is the city’s goal to eradicate traffic fatalities by 2024. Market Street was chosen because it has four of the city’s top 20 intersections in which most collisions occur. Between 3rd and 8th Street, there were 173 collisions from 2012 to 2013. According to the collision analysis, 82 percent involved cars, 43 percent involved bikes, 36 percent pedestrians, and 8 percent Muni’s buses.
The restriction only applies to private cars. Buses, taxis, paratransit, ambulances, and commercial vehicles (i.e. trucks) will all be exempt to these limitations.
The SFMTA have projected that there will be a 30-50 percent decrease in vehicles on Market Street, with a 5-10 percent increase in the rest of the grid. There may be an improvement in transit times as public transport is exempt from these rules. There will be a total of 14 turns eliminated.
Additional loading zones are also part of this arrangement. There will be eight new white passenger loading zones, four new blue disabled parking zones, and one new commercial loading zone.
Workers are currently restriping Hyde Street. They will start working on the signs and meters. The work will go on through July, and the plan is set to be implemented by mid-August. Transit only lanes will be complete by January 2016.
The SFMTA staff will help re-route maps and work with GPS providers to ease the transition for motorists.
Uber, which still claims to be a tech company, was not supportive of the decision as they use private cars and their contractors are not considered to be employees of the taxi company.