Call to Action: For a Better Market Street

Tuesday is the big vote at SFMTA to get private cars off San Francisco's main thoroughfare. Advocates want all hands on deck.

Rendering of a future Market Street. Image: Public Works
Rendering of a future Market Street. Image: Public Works

Advocates are going all-in to support the Better Market Street Plan, which will ban private cars from Market Street and add protected bike lanes from Octavia to the Embarcadero. The SFMTA Board will vote on the plan at its regular meeting on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at City Hall. If approved, protected bike lane construction would break ground in 2020 and private car restrictions between Steuart and Gough would begin by the end of this year.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which has been instrumental in pushing this forward, is holding a pre-board meeting rally:

Rally for Market Street
Tuesday October 15, 12:15PM
City Hall Steps

You can RSVP here.

“A single vote on October 15 will determine the fate of Market Street for the next generation and beyond,” wrote the SFBC’s Charles Deffarges. He added that it is “…ready to be approved and will include a complete transformation of San Francisco’s most important street, including fully protected bike lanes as well as a clear message: get cars off of Market Street.”

Also from the SFBC:

A decade of organizing has culminated these past few weeks with the launch of Market Street 2020, our campaign to see cars off Market this year and ground broken on protected bike lanes in 2020. With our members leading the way, we’ve reviewed designs, brainstormed actions, and are flyering on Market St. several times a week to help grow our movement and win on October 15.

Everything is riding on the SFMTA board’s vote. Years of work will either be approved or scrapped, and we need the collective voice of our members to make this win possible.

Walk San Francisco is also pulling out all the stops to get members and advocates to the meeting:

 …in approving the Better Market Street plan, the SFMTA Board will be voting to eliminate private vehicles from Steuart Street near the Ferry Building to Octavia Boulevard. This will transform our city’s “Main Street” into the quiet, calm, and people-filled boulevard it should be.

The project will also bring safer intersections to the 500,000 people who walk on Market Street each day, plus improved bus service for the 75,000 weekday riders on Market Street and a separated bikeway for people biking.

Support looks good. But advocates warn that blow back from pro-car/status-quo groups could still give board members cold feet. That’s why advocates for safe streets need as many supporters as possible to come and speak at the meeting.

If things go well, Walk San Francisco will have a celebratory walk at 5 p.m. Tuesday, down Market Street to the Fort Point Brewery at the Ferry Building. RSVP here.

For more on the Better Market Street plan, check out the city’s website.

“It’s really here. The chance to make history happen for Market Street and San Francisco,” said Walk S.F.’s Jodie Medeiros.

See you on Tuesday at City Hall. If you can’t make it, be sure to email and/or call the board and express your support for a safer Market Street, free of private automobiles.

How loading would work. Image: SF Planning
How loading would work in the Better Market Street plan. Image: SF Planning


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