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Tomorrow marks the start of San Francisco’s six week pilot program aimed at reducing eastbound traffic on Market Street. The plan will force private vehicles traveling eastbound to turn at Eighth Street and Sixth Street or face fines.Here’s the map of the changes from the MTA.

Mayor Newsom has branded the project as a way to both free up downtown congestion and promote pedestrian and automotive safety, though, In a characteristic Newsomism, he told reporters, “Can it get much worse than it is today for the typical driver…if it does, get much worse, the pilot will end–we’ll own up to it and move on.”

Approaching the Ferry Building all eastbound traffic will first be “encouraged” to turn right onto Tenth Street. Cars that opt not to do so will be required to turn at Eighth Street. From there they can choose to take Mission, Folsom, or any other parallel eastbound street. Cars that turn back onto Market at Seventh Street will be required to turn back off at Sixth. From Sixth on, all eastbound traffic is “discouraged” but not prohibited. Failure to comply will result in a fine of $167. Critics worry that driving traffic to Mission and Folsom will make those already overtaxed streets even less manageable, especially during peak bridge hours.

The pilot program will not effect westbound traffic, and eastbound pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, taxis, emergency vehicles, and delivery vehicles will still have full access to Market Street.

(Editor’s note: This paragraph has been changed since publication because my edits didn’t do justice to the reporter’s original remarks, changes are in italic — eb)
My perspective: If you really want to make downtown commute safer, you need to deal with more than just auto traffic. The city should work more closely with the San Francisco Bike Coalition to encourage all riders to participate in bicycle safety and urban ridership workshops. (This correspondent also supports the institution and enforcement of a helmet law for bicyclists.) Any pedestrian, driver, or passive observer the myriad of bicyclers who display an almost complete disregard for traffic laws, pose a significant hazard to transportation in San Francisco — and that this disregard is highly prevalent along that stretch of Market Street.

The San Francisco government encourages commuters to send their thoughts and opinions about the project to 311, by email at marketstreet@sfgov.org, or commenting on the upcoming Market Street Facebook page.

More information about the pilot can be found here.

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  • kl2real

    I agree the bike situation is out of control. I support getting people out of cars on to bikes and walking, but the current situation creates greater chaos for all who use our roads and sidewalks.

  • John Murphy

    Here’s hoping you achieve your (unstated) goal of getting many webhits for this “masterpiece”

  • cedichou

    SFAppeal piece has this cyclist asking: “What about jerk reporters?”

  • Eve Batey

    Market Street closure probably won’t impact us either way.

  • Babe Scanlon

    Whenever bikes are given the run of the roads they won’t even stop for red lights to let pedestrians cross the street. I’ll support bikers when they can control themselves.

  • auweia

    jamaican style “jerk’ cyclists might be a little stringy, but jerk reports should be well marbled

  • Eve Batey

    John, after talking to Ced, I wanted to clarify something that I believe was a flaw in my editing, not Shea’s piece: Shea was attempting to communicate that managing cars is not the only thing that needs to be done to make Market a pedestrian haven, that work needs to be done with cyclists, too. I believe that when I edited the piece I made that less clear. I’m going to fix that when I’m back at my desk and can access the article to edit it.

  • John Murphy

    “Shea was attempting to communicate that managing cars is not the only thing that needs to be done to make Market a pedestrian haven, that work needs to be done with cyclists, too.”

    I’ll cherry pick. Why the comment about helmets? Cyclists wearing or not wearing helmets has zero to do with pedestrian safety.

    The most appropriate edit would be changing the title to “Today’s Giant Troll!”

  • codesmith

    “Any pedestrian, driver, or passive observer the myriad of bicyclers who display an almost complete disregard for traffic laws, pose a significant hazard to transportation in San Francisco — and that this disregard is highly prevalent along that stretch of Market Street.”

    Poor editing aside, any stats to back this up? Auto vehicles killed 35 people in SF last year. Wonder how many were killed by cyclists? What about all those jay-walking pedestrians? Let’s worry about the most egregious and dangerous bad behavior first – that of car drivers. I’ll pay more attention to whining about cyclist bad behavior when we start seeing our street space and traffic laws encourage better and safer biking.

  • E. Gilliam

    As a member of the SFBC, I actually agree with you, Eve (and your snarky replies to the snarky comments back at you). A lot of bicyclists don’t understand or care about safety – and the ones who don’t wear helmets and/or safety gear seem to be the worst offenders.

    As a bicyclist myself, I give extra room and thought to my friends on the street, though I still find a lot of them to be absolute jerks.

    Bicyclists need to stop at lights, wait for pedestrians, and follow all traffic rules, not just the ones that didn’t slow their momentum. I’d love to see cops out giving tickets to those who run the red lights, riding around cars on both sides in a lane, talking on their cell phones, weaving back and forth…

  • Shea O’Neill

    All very good points. Went with the anecdotal angle instead of the facts.

    But I can assure you the commentary comes from a cyclist: and one who chose this city because it was so friendly to bicycle owners.

    Eve’s point is right. I did not intend to denouce cyclists or drivers, but to suggest that an answer to our traffic woes lies in cooperation. Sure,bicycle has probabbly never killed someone directly. But cyclists who don’t stop at lights, wait for pedestrians, and weave in and out of traffic disturb the flow and make the road more dangerous for drivers (who are already a danger enough to begin with).

    Thanks for the dialogue

    -Jerk

  • somawally

    How is this approach working in Fairfield?

  • somawally

    How is this approach working in Fairfield?