Author Rachel Swan
Banning cars on San Francisco’s Market Street may have once been a radical idea. But on Tuesday, the Municipal Transportation Agency board voted unanimously to do it, with undiluted support from just about everyone: bicycle activists, politicians, city bureaucrats, parents, health care workers, business owners, ride-hail companies and Mayor London Breed.
One message rang out loudly during a rally on City Hall steps and an hour-long hearing before the vote: start building “Better Market Street” immediately, and then replicate it elsewhere.
The plan that kicked off nearly a decade ago will start construction in January, with a ban on private cars east of 10th street on the city’s downtown spine. It will restrict commercial loading on the street to certain hours, extend the Muni-only lane from Third to Main Street, widen sidewalks, replace the ancient bricks with concrete pavers and add a sidewalk-level bike path with a protective curb. Crews will also build a streetcar loop east of United Nations Plaza, allowing the F line to shuttle from Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf.