All Muni vehicles are being evicted from the downtown portion of Market Street for two weeks starting October 14, so that the Department of Public Works can install conduits for new traffic signals on a three block stretch between Fifth and Eighth Streets. This is the first phase of the tortured “Better Market Street” project, stripped way down from the bloated, unaffordable scope that SFMTA Chief Jeff Tumlin blew the whistle on when he took over in 2019.
More than ten years ago, the City proposed a modest project to repave downtown Market Street. Planners got involved; advocacy groups pushed to add more features; city departments weighed in with wish lists, all saying, “If you’re going to that that, you should also do THIS.” The project metastasized into a full rebuilding of everything on and under the street from curb to curb, from the foot of Market to Octavia Street, more than two miles.
A new study, plus research by our board member Chris Arvin, shows that the first month of the ban on private automobiles on Market Street is making Muni operations, including the F-line, faster, according to this story in the San Francisco Examiner.
NOTE: This article was written for our member magazine, Inside Track, in 2013. Seven years later, after continuous planning for extensive changes to Market Street, City department heads announced there was no money available for most of the envisioned changes, due largely to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on city finances.
Even in the 1930s, transit stop spacing was an issue in San Francisco. Click to enlarge.
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