San Francisco finalizes plans to close Market Street to cars

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The City of San Francisco is finalizing plans to close Market Street to private cars. The project will place an emphasis on making Market Street more attractive to pedestrians and bicyclists, and reducing the number of injury-accidents.

By some estimates, Market is one of the two busiest streets in San Francisco.

For a half dozen years, city traffic officials have been studying a ban on private cars on Market. Now, that project is much closer to reality.

They're talking about the busiest section of Market, from Steuart Street on the east to Van Ness on the west. Private cars would be allowed to cross Market Street but not turn on to it.

City officials say closing the street to private vehicles would make it much safer. The street has seen numerous injury and fatal accidents since 2005.

Cristina Olea, project manager for the Department of Public Works, tells ABC7 News "Because of our street grid there's a lot of different paths that cars can take. If you're north of Market, it means you can take Turk or Bush or Pine to get to the west. South of Market, you can take Mission or Folsom-Howard "

Muni buses, emergency vehicles, paratransit, commercial vehicles, taxis and bicycles would still be allowed to use Market. Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft would have to load and unload passengers on side streets intersecting Market.

The project is currently undergoing environmental review. Construction on Phase 1 of the 600 million dollar project is expected to begin next year.
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