After years of proposals on how to improve Market Street for biking, walking, and transit, the SFMTA and DPW announced a plan to implement a series of much needed and long overdue safety improvements.
The plan calls for projects to be rolled out as early as this Summer and an expansion of auto restrictions planned for Winter 2015. The improvements include red treatment of transit only lanes on Market and improved enforcement of existing right-turn restrictions this Spring/Summer. The Winter 2015 improvements include additional turn restrictions for eastbound and westbound private auto traffic (with taxis, commercial deliveries, and paratransit exempt) from 5th to New Montgomery and additional enforcement of these new regulations.
While the transit lane improvements do not need any further approvals, we’ll need to keep up the pressure for expanded auto restrictions. We expect the new auto restrictions to go to legislative approval in November/December 2014. Visit sfbike.org/market for the latest news and to stay up to date on the approvals process.
In 2009, SFMTA implemented eastbound right-turn restrictions for private vehicles at 10th and 6th Streets. These restrictions improved transit efficiency by up to 3% and dramatically increased bike and pedestrian safety and comfort. The pilot restrictions were made permanent in 2011 and calls for expansion have been made regularly ever since.
These immediate improvements are more important than ever, with bike counts on Market Street reaching record numbers and improvements from the Better Market Street plan still many years away. Despite being the City’s most ridden bike route – to the point that bikes now outnumber cars on Market – Market Street sees twice as many collisions as Mission Street and has two of the highest bike collision intersections in the City.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been working for years to win safety improvements in advance of the Better Market Street plan, and this latest announcement from the City is a big step forward for a better Market Street for biking. Many thanks to the dedicated members who have flyered, attended countless community meetings and continued the push for a better Market Street for biking and walking.