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SFMTA Board Approves Plan Eliminating Private Vehicles From Market Street

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to eliminate private vehicles from driving one of the city's busiest streets.

The Better Market Street project would create a more than 2-mile stretch of downtown Market Street that would only be used by buses, taxis, bicycles, and commercial vehicles, as well as emergency vehicles like police cars and fire trucks.

It would also add a protected bike lane on Market from Octavia Street to The Embarcadero.

Although all private vehicles would be prohibited from turning onto or using Market Street, all traffic would still be able to cross Market Street at most intersections.

Better Market Street artist rendering
Better Market Street artist rendering (Better Market Street)

Additionally, the Better Market Street plan would create a bus-only lane as well as a separate taxi-only lane. Safety improvements for pedestrians and bicycles would also be included.

In a statement, San Francisco Mayor London Breed voiced her support for the project.

"Market Street is at the heart of our city, and we need to do everything we can to make it a safe, more livable, and more vibrant place for our residents, workers and visitors," Breed said.

"Last year, there were 123 injury collisions on Market Street and the majority involved people walking or biking. Better Market Street and the project's near-term improvements are critical to achieve our Vision Zero goals and ensure everyone can feel safe on our most traveled street," she said.

More information on the Better Market Street plan is available at the project's official website. The project has also developed an interactive turn-by-turn app that shows users how the plan would impact their routes through the area.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a rally outside of San Francisco City Hall Tuesday afternoon, just before the SFTMA's board meeting. Afterward, coalition members showed up at the meeting to show their support for the project.

The project is expected to be rolled out in several phases, with the first phase, featuring quick-build enhancements, private vehicle restrictions and Muni-only lane extensions, starting as early as the beginning of 2020.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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