San Francisco to vote on banning cars from Market Street

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The City of San Francisco is getting closer to finalizing plans to close Market Street to all cars.

The SFMTA Board of Directors is expected to vote on the "Better Market Street" project on Tuesday.

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City officials say closing the street to all private vehicles would make it much safer for everyone, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Brian Wiedemmeier, says there has been an uptick in 2019 fatal collisions involving people walking and biking, including on Market Street.

Wiedemmmeir says the Better Market Street project will not only transform Market, but make it safer for pedestrians and bikers and get people out of their cars and onto public transit.

Muni buses, emergency vehicles, paratransit, commercial vehicles, taxis, and bicycles will still be allowed.

Uber and Lyft will only be allowed to drop people off at cross streets.

One taxi driver ABC7 spoke to says this will lessen congestion and competition for them.

The idea is to transform the two-mile stretch of Market Street between Steuart Street and Octavia Boulevard.

Cars would be able to drive across Market, but not turn on to it.

The owner of the office supply store of Patrick And Co. says they have had their Market store location for three generations. Jim Patrick says he's seen a lot of changes- but he has mixed feelings about the Better Market Street project.

Even though the plan says commercial vehicles are still allowed-- they might put restrictions on times they can load and unload which to Patrick will be a disruption.

Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru says the first phase of construction is already funded from a grant. Nuru says if they get a bid by the end of next year, construction can start as early as 2021.

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