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SF Hotel Council on Board With Market Street Car Restrictions, Transit Lanes

Market Street, looking east at Seventh Street. Photo: Sergio Ruiz/Flickr
Market Street, looking east at Seventh Street. Photo: Sergio Ruiz/Flickr

The SF Hotel Council supports the SFMTA's proposals to extend transit-only lanes and ban private cars from mid-Market Street, said the council's chief.

"We looked at all the proposals to try to vet out any potential issues, and [the SFMTA has] been wonderful to work with," said Kevin Carroll, the Hotel Council's executive director, at an SFMTA open house meeting yesterday. The proposals will bring "faster transit times for everybody -- our visitors, our employees," he said. "Our visitors will have a better experience on Market Street. It's safer, easier, more understandable."

The project, presented under the banner of Vision Zero, will make Market a safer street to walk and bike on. SFMTA's Project Manager Mari Hunter said that idea seems to be easy for many to support.

City studies have also shown that most drivers who get on Market only travel for a block or two. "That's enough to create conflict," said Hunter. "Market Street is unique in that, while in other parts of the city, the majority of collisions occur at the intersections, we're finding just as many mid-block."

Many drivers on Market seem to simply be lost, and making it clearly car-free may simplify the street network for drivers. Taxis and delivery vehicles would still be allowed, though Hunter said the SFMTA has worked with hotel managers to create more loading zones on side streets, which will reduce the need for curbside stops on Market.

"People get into these loops," circling around blocks, Carroll said.

The project is expected to be approved by the SFMTA Board in March, and would be implemented over the next spring and summer.

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