SFMTA: Market Street pilot program reducing congestion

A one-month-old pilot traffic project that diverts eastbound cars off of San Francisco's Market Street seems to be easing congestion and improving travel for buses and streetcars, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman said today.

While the SFMTA won't be reporting any official data for another two weeks, spokesman Judson True said the program has been going well so far.

“We've seen fewer cars headed downtown on Market Street, which has made it easier for Muni vehicles to get to the boarding islands,” he said.

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the program early last month, as part of a long-term plan to improve the aesthetics and efficiency of San Francisco's congested main boulevard.

The program does not affect westbound traffic, but vehicles heading east, towards the Ferry Building are encouraged to turn right at 10th Street, and forced to do so at Eighth Street. Vehicles that turn onto Market at Seventh Street are again forced to turn right at Sixth Street.

The SFMTA has been collecting traffic data at intersections along Market Street, as well as other nearby thoroughfares, including Mission and Folsom streets, True said. The agency is also performing bicycle counts and monitoring Muni travel times in the area.

While analyzing Muni data will take a bit longer, True said the agency expects to have some traffic counts by the end of the six-week trial period. The MTA will also make “qualitative conclusions” about how the changes affect pedestrians.

Since the program began Sept. 29, bicyclists are “noticing a more pleasant and less hectic ride on Market Street,” said Andy Thornley, program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Sitting in his office overlooking Market Street, Thornley said a typical day sees more bicycles than automobiles on the thoroughfare. The SFBC hopes this is simply the first of a series of trials to better synchronize the flow of bikes, buses, cars and pedestrians, he said.

“Our vision for Market Street as a really top-notch, world-class, grade-A bike street could look a lot of different ways,” he said.

Bay Area NewsLocalSFMTAtraffic

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

Chelsea Hung, who owns Washington Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown with her mother, said the restaurant is only making about 30 percent of pre-pandemic revenues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chinatown’s slow recovery has business owners fearing for the future

Lack of outside visitors threatens to push neighborhood into ‘downward spiral’

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and members of the orchestra were thrilled to be back inside Davies Symphony Hall on May 6 in a program for first responders featuring string works by Jean Sibelius, George Walker, Carl Nielsen, Caroline Shaw and Edward Grieg. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Symphony)
SF Symphony makes joyful return to Davies Hall

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts program for first responders and community leaders

Students in an after-school community hub move quickly through a social circle as they play a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Parents scramble for ‘Summer Together’ spaces

City program offering free camps sees high demand, confusion over enrollment

Jazz pianist and composer Jon Jang is an instructor at Community Music Center in the Mission District. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Jon Jang composes bittersweet symphonies

Musician-activist’s works are steeped in civil rights history

Calfire (Shutterstock)
Wildfires burn around Northern California during first red flag weekend of the year

Firefighters around the region battled wildfires all day Saturday, starting less than… Continue reading

Most Read