March expected to cause downtown traffic backups

Public transportation agencies in The City are expecting to have service interruptions today because of a large anti-war rally beginning at noon downtown.</p>

As many as 10,000 people are expected to gather at Justin Herman Plaza before marching down Market Street to protest the war in Iraq, according to the police department. Traffic on Market Street near the intersections of McAllister Street, Polk Street and Golden Gate Avenue are expected to see the most congestion, according to Muni. Several Muni lines and BART are expected to be directly affected by the demonstration. The delays are expected to last throughout the day and into the evening, according to Muni.

The congestion problems come just a day after a rough morning commute for Bay Area BART riders.

Early-morning commuters faced major delays Wednesday, including the shutting down of one line because of debris on BART tracks between the Bay Fair and Dublin/Pleasanton Stations.

About 7:45 a.m., a piece of metal fell off a train and onto the tracks between the stations, according to BART spokesman Linton Johnson. He said two trains hit the metal, forcing BART to shut down the stretch for about 90 minutes.

The shutdown caused system-wide delays of up to 40 minutes on some lines, including rides into San Francisco. Other lines, such as Fremont to Richmond, experienced delays between 10 and 30 minutes. During the morning hours, BART usually runs about 55 trains carrying an average of 500 passengers each, according to BART records. Full service was restored by 9:30 a.m., according to Johnson.

Muni lines affected by the March

» 1-California

» 2-Clement

» 5-Fulton

» 6-Parnassus

» 9/9X-San Bruno

» 10-Townsend

» 14-Mission

» 14L-Mission Limited

» 15-Third

» 19-Polk

» 21-Hayes

» F-Market

» 27-Bryant

» 30/45-Stockton

» 31-Balboa

» 38-Geary

» 71-Noriega

sfarooq@examiner.com

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