Proposed traffic changes may impact driving in downtown SF, commute

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Some big changes are planned for one of San Francisco's busiest streets, which may have a big impact on the commute.

Some big changes are planned for one of San Francisco's busiest streets, which may have a big impact on the commute.

The changes proposed would prevent drivers from turning right onto Market Street between 3rd Street and 8th Street.

The goal is to cut back on the congestion and to protect pedestrians.

Many say crossing Market Street on foot can sometimes feel like a dangerous obstacle course. Even tourists say it doesn't take long to figure out the street requires full attention.

"You gotta keep your eyes up and not on the phone. Safety first," said Joe Agostino, who is visiting San Francisco.

Transit officials hope the plan to take away the right-hand turn on Market Street will help.

"It would be hard for cars but might make things better for pedestrians," sais Anuj Gujar, San Francisco resident.

Advocates for pedestrian safety say this idea would definitely make things better for people on foot. They point out that 162 people were hurt in accidents involving pedestrians in 2012 and 2013.

"The turns are where we see the most injuries and fatalities on Market Street. It's one of most dangerous traffic behaviors," explained Nicole Ferrari, the Director of Walk SF.

Bicyclists and pedestrians think it would great if cars were forced to find other ways around this congested corridor.

"It is the most used bike route in San Francisco. It absolutely makes sense. There are plenty of other routes cars can use. Fundamentally, this city is too dense for car traffic to really work," said Alec Ferguson, a San Francisco resident.

"I feel like there are other ways to get places, so this would eliminate part of the traffic," said Elena Seynova, a Belmont resident.

Uber does not like this plan. Uber drivers will not be allowed to turn right, but taxis will because taxis have access to red lanes by law. Bikes will still just use bike lanes.

Uber says these changes would increase gridlock around the city.

The plan will be voted on next week and is expected to pass.

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