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

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.

  • Bruce

    Traffic from Jones and McAllister should be prohibited from turning onto Market as well (Jones would need to be two-wayed up to Turk). If the traffic island there were downsized to allow inbound 5-Fulton buses to pass the island on the left, then a pedestrian plaza/parklet could be created there too (joining the remaining part of the island to the northwest sidewalk of Market).

  • Mario Tanev

    The proposal referenced does not appear to ban private cars from mid-Market. It does make it almost impossible to enter it legally, but once entered, the proposal doesn’t make the presence of a vehicle illegal. One could still enter by making a right off of 9th or a left off of 6th.

  • p_chazz

    SFMTA should put up signs near Market Street that say “Auto Traffic on Market Street Not Recommended” like the warning signs for trucks and trailers on winding mountain roads. They should also work with Google Maps so that trip plans avoid Market.

  • Bruce

    Left turns off of 6th are already prohibited. But a right off of 9th, a right off of Jones/McAllister, or any turn east of 3rd Street would do the trick.

  • Bruce

    Google Maps directions incorporate turn restrictions.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Yep. Even when it produces a highly silly route like this one that obeys the mandatory right turn off Maret at 6th. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.7797361,-122.4134916/37.7851505,-122.4066397/@37.7808359,-122.4115061,16z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0

  • Mario Tanev

    Ok, so it seems that inbound, the only way to enter legally is to turn right on 9th. Or perhaps to make a U-turn from the outbound direction (no idea if U-turns are allowed).

    For the outbound direction, one could enter from any of the streets before 3rd and continue legally.

    It is very obvious that some drivers will enter illegally. But as long as there is a legal way to enter, unless they were spotted entering illegally, they will not be ticketed since their presence is not banned. So, again, it seems cars are not banned, simply (and perhaps severely) restricted on that stretch.

  • Mario Tanev

    One thing missing in Google Maps is knowledge of whether a location has any parking. There is no parking on Market St, so it doesn’t make sense to propose ending one’s trip there (unless one is in a Taxi).

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Yeah that’s a great point. There didn’t seem to be a related feature request in Google’s internal bug tracker so I filed one. Cheers.

  • Bruce

    U-turns are definitely not allowed anywhere on Market east of Van Ness. But even drivers turning right from 9th are legally required to turn on 6th.

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