No more turns onto one section of Market Street, says SFMTA

Private vehicles trying to access Market be warned: It will soon be illegal to turn onto Market Street between Third and Eighth streets.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors approved the new turn restrictions.

Dubbed a “Safer Market Street,” the new restrictions will begin in August, according to the SFMTA.

The move is seen as critical to achieving dual goals of the agency: reducing pedestrian injuries and speeding up 12 of San Francisco’s most often ridden Muni routes.

Notably, San Francisco has a stated policy goal called “Vision Zero,”which aims to drop traffic-related deaths to zero annually by 2024.

The stretch of Market between Third and Eighth streets saw 162 traffic and pedestrian collisions between 2012 and 2013, and contains four of The City’s top 20 most dangerous streets for traffic safety.

Much ire arose over taxis being exempted from the proposal, an exemption that ride-hail apps Uber, Lyft and Sidecar won’t share in.

“This is not about pitting taxis against Uber,”said Tom McGuire, director of sustainable streets at SFMTA. “This is about protecting people on Market street.”

Many taxi drivers, taxi companies, citizens and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition backed the Market street restrictions.

In a surprise turnaround from its previous opposition, Uber San Francisco’s General Manager Wayne Ting said he supports turn restrictions —but only if they’re issued to all drivers.

“That should include taxis,” Ting said.

A Lyft representative agreed.

Commercial vehicles, transit vehicles (like Muni), bicycles and emergency vehicles are all exempt from the new restrictions, not just taxis.

Under the proposal, new white zones will be created at the intersections along Market Street to make loading and unloading passengers easier for all.

Board director Malcolm Heinicke has long championed restricting cars along Market Street.

Heinicke said to create an exemption for ride-hail apps would be nearly impossible to implement, and would allow thousands more cars onto Market street.

“It creates enforcement issues I don’t see a solution to,” he said.

joe@sfexaminer.com

In the video below, Uber San Francisco General Manager Wayne Ting makes a case for all vehicles to be restricted, including taxis.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Recent Posts

Smoky air closes Alcatraz

Alcatraz and other major visitor attractions in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are closed this weekend due to unhealthy…

6 hours ago

Striking Boston Marriott workers reach tentative agreement, negotiations continue in San Francisco

Some 1,500 striking Marriott hotel workers in Boston, Mass. have reached a tentative agreement in contract negotiations with the hotel…

6 hours ago

Nov. 18-20: Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour, End of Life Resource Fair, Castle in the Sky, Marion Nestle, Sonics, Esperanza Spalding, Bandstand, Volti and Left Coast Ensemble, Good Charlotte, Thanks to Hank

SUNDAY, NOV. 18 Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour: The 90-minute interactive concert experience for kids and families features live…

7 hours ago

SF Preps: San Francisco Section postpones football semifinals to Thanksgiving Week

The smoke and ash from the Camp fire in Butte County continues to impact local high school sports in the…

8 hours ago

In first hearing to appeal SF scooter permit loss, Spin alleges ‘biased’ process

Scooter company Spin lost its bid to operate in San Francisco but now it’s trying to spin that decision around.…

23 hours ago

California fires: Death toll in Paradise rises to 71; more than 1,000 unaccounted for

The death toll from California’s worst fire rose to 71 on Friday, with more than 1,000 people still unaccounted for.…

23 hours ago