Bike ridership up 20 percent on first day of car-free Market Street

Bike ridership up 20 percent on first day of car-free Market Street

Cylists praise increased feeling of safety due to reduced vehicle traffic

Although it’s too soon to tell the long term effects of a car-free Market Street, opening day last week saw a 20 percent increase in bike ridership, according to early reports.

Bike counters located at Market and 10th streets showed 20 percent higher bike volumes on Wednesday, Jan. 29, than on any other weekday in January, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Wednesday was the first day Market Street went “car free,” banning most private vehicles.

Although the counters are known to significantly undercount, 3,000 bikes were counted in each direction on that day instead of the usual 2,500, according to SFMTA spokesperson Ericka Kato.

“We’re seeing measurable improvement in transit travel in speed and reliability,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said about the new data at an agency meeting.

The private car ban is part of a city effort called the Better Market Street project, intended to enhance biker and pedestrian safety. Although buses, taxis and commercial vehicles can still drive on Market Street, some cyclists say the car-free lanes have brought a feeling of safety.

“I’ve been biking on Market Street since 2013,” bike commuter Alfred Twu said. “The difference from then to now is incredible. Used to be somewhat dangerous, now it feels as safe as biking on a side street.”

Whether or not the changes have decreased travel time for cyclist or transit or increased safety for riders and pedestrians is still unclear, but no severe injuries to cyclists have been reported in the last week.

The City adopted the car ban as part of its Vision Zero program, an effort to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries by 2024. In 2019 there were 29 traffic related fatalities, one involving a cyclist, according to Vision Zero Task Force reports.

“Safety is the largest barrier to getting people to bike through San Francisco,” San Francisco Bike Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier said. “We know more people ride when they feel safe and it increases actual safety. So this is an encouraging step in the right direction.”

Bay Area Newssan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A sign about proposed development of the bluff at Thornton State Beach in Daly City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Retreat center proposed at popular state beach

Daly City residents oppose construction on ocean bluffs

Rev. Roland Gordon shows “The Great Cloud of Witnesses” collage mural at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church, which he began building in 1980.<ins> (</ins>
Rev. Roland Gordon preaches love in action

Pastor promotes peace, hope through art and prayer

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

Most Read