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Transportation Planners Consider Program To Keep Cars From Blocking San Francisco Intersections

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The City of San Francisco is considering initiating a program called "Don't Block the Box'" to get drivers to stop clogging up intersections as they leave during the afternoon commute or head to a Giants' games.

It's become epidemic on the city's streets: Frustrated motorists sitting in the middle of an intersection blocking pedestrian crossings and stopping cross traffic.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency recently completed a six-day increased enforcement period, including tests on two South Of Market intersections. Between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., 1,100 vehicles blocked the crosswalks and few nights later, parking control officers wrote up $100 tickets. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the number of cars sitting in the intersection dropped significantly.

"Too often, drivers are concerned about getting home fast, they make maneuvers they shouldn't, and they endanger pedestrians." Cameron Samii, the MTA's enforcement manager, told the Chronicle.

Transportation Planners Consider Program To Keep Cars From Blocking San Francisco Intersections

"Don't Block The Box" has been used with success in other American cities such as New York and Boston and was even used in San Francisco 22 years ago. The program will likely spread to other parts of the city.

"You don't need a study to look at the obvious," said KCBS, KPIX and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier. "The intersections in and out of San Francisco are jammed at rush hour." Matier recalled the parking control officers that used to direct traffic in the city's intersections and said it works for a while and then the officers go away.

Now they're bringing them back after what he called the "proverbial" study.

"You folks driving into San Francisco, you are on the bottom of the transportation food chain. Not only are you politically incorrect, but chances are you are driving out to Walnut Creek, driving out to Alameda. In other words, if you don't vote in San Francisco, you don't count in San Francisco.

Matier said he's noticed a "disdain" for people in cars at San Francisco transportation planning meetings.


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