San Francisco

San Francisco to Limit Vehicle Access on Market Street

San Francisco on Tuesday will permanently shut down access onto Market Street from mid Market to the Financial District.

Limiting access to the heavily used corridor is the city's latest effort to make streets safer for pedestrians.

"The changes we're about to make on Market Street are pretty significant changes," said Ed Reiskin of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Starting on Tuesday, private cars will be forbidden from turning on to Market Street between Third and Eight streets.

Authorities said 60 percent of severe or fatal pedestrian accident are happening on 6 percent of the city's streets, with Market Street near the top of the list.

"It's got to be safe for people no matter how they're traveling," Reiskin said.

Pedestrian and bike advocates said private cars make up to 10 to 30 percent of the traffic on Market Street, but account for 80 percent of the injury accidents.

"We also know that at this corner we have seven times more people traveling by foot than by car," Nicole Ferrara of Walk S.F. said.

Muni officials said folks that are driving and that get into accidents are often times from out of town.

Taxi cabs and truck drivers will be exempt from the restrictions set to take place on Market Street.

"It might cause traffic, it might not," Chrismer Balbarais of Hayward. "But if it's helpful for the pedestrians I think it's a good thing."

Officials said the penalty for making an illegal turn onto Market Street is $238. The city's goal is to eventually get all private cars off Market Street.

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