San Francisco prepares to close part of Market Street off to private cars, Uber and Lyft

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of San Francisco's main thoroughfares is undergoing a major transformation next week.

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Market Street will become a car-free zone to private vehicles, including Uber and Lyft.

RELATED: 7 questions answered about Market Street going car-free in San Francisco

The no-driving zone extends between Tenth and Main Streets in the eastbound lanes, and between Steuart Street and Van Ness Avenue on the westbound side.

"Wednesday morning, there's going to be signs everywhere, all along here," exclaimed Mohammed Nuru, the Director of San Francisco Public Works, as he pointed to a map of the car closure area.

Nuru has been working on the Market Street revitalization project since he joined Public Works 8 years ago. He's very excited about the upcoming changes.

"This transformation is really going to make it easier for people who walk up and down Market Street, or people who ride bicycles, or people who use public transportation," Nuru said.

But when asked about people who drive or ride in cars, Nuru said, "people who ride and drive cars have been the problem."

The project is called "Better Market Street," though many don't think it's deserving of the positive modifier, including Sureyya Ozsoy, who sells handmade jewelry and hats along Market Street at Justin Herman Plaza.

When asked if she needs her car in San Francisco, Ozsoy said, "of course I do! How can I bring my stuff here without my car?"

RELATED: San Francisco finalizes plans to close Market Street to cars

Ozsoy says she doesn't understand the need for more pedestrian space.

"I was thinking the other day, why we need this much space for people to walk since we have two big sidewalks and I'm really worried about how I can come down and park my car and unload and load," Ozsoy said.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney said, "I think that right now Market Street's design is out of whack with how it's actually being used and how we want it to be used."

Most of the car closure area runs through Haney's district.

According to SFMTA, Market Street is home to half of the top 10 intersections for pedestrian and bicycle collisions.

Haney said Market Street is, "one of the most dangerous streets in the city and so safety is a huge motivating factor here, but also the potential and the power of having a thoroughfare like so many cities around the world where you can go and walk, you can take transit, bike, and we really hope that this reinvigorates the street."

Drivers will still be able to cross Market street, you just won't be able to turn onto it and drive.

Muni buses, bicycles, taxis, emergency vehicles, vehicles for people with disabilities, and commercial vehicles will still be able to drive on Market Street as they always have.

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