Eyes on the Street: Market Street Advance Stop Bars

stop_bar_3.jpgNew advanced stop bars have been striped on Market Street between 10th Street and 5th Street. Photos: Matthew Roth

It has been six weeks since the MTA started diverting private automobiles off Market Street, an effort to improve conditions for pedestrians, Muni vehicles and cyclists in the eastbound direction, while measuring the economic impact of reduced traffic on the corridor. The traffic diversions are part of the Better Market Street vision to revitalize the Central Market streetscape between Van Ness Street and 5th Street, including musical programming, sidewalk tables, and the Art in Storefronts pilot program.

The stop bars are the first treatment of the Calm the Safety Zone project that was inspired by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority in its 2004 study of treatments for improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists near the intersections and Muni boarding islands on Market Street.

MTA Spokesperson Judson True, who said the stop-bar placement would be completed by Monday, wrote in an email, "As part of the Market Street Calm the Safety Zone project, we are moving the stop bars 10 feet back from their existing location to give more advanced stopping distance between motorists and pedestrians. The advanced stop bar is a best practice for pedestrian safety."

Although the MTA doesn't plan to release results of the traffic diversions for several days, Streetsblog has learned from interviewing businesses that participated in stakeholder meetings with the agency that the MTA said vehicular counts during the AM rush hour are down 60 percent, while bicycles make up 60 percent of the street's users to the east of 8th Street during the same time.

stop_bar_2.jpgNot everyone cares where the new stop bars are placed.