September 28, 2009
The Test Pattern For Tomorrows Six Week Market Street Closure
"San Francisco's new experiment to remake Market Street starts Tuesday when restrictions on private automobiles take effect. The six-week trial is aimed at reducing traffic traveling east on Market Street toward the Ferry Building by forcing drivers to turn right at Eighth and Sixth streets - or face fines."
First Published: September 28, 2009 6:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This looks like a recipe in disaster. Change in speed or direction creates a traffic mess. Most drivers are creatures of habit. They hate change. They hate having to learn something a new way if it's not a huge improvement.
Look what happened when they put the new section of the Bay Bridge in place. Everyone in both directions slows up now for the new S turn creating a new everyday backup. That change created a new problem.
Look at 19th Ave. Heavy traffic because they didn't plan so many commuting back and forth across the GG Bridge. That's bad enough. Can you imagine if they tried the same type of experiment there as the one on Market? Me either.
I think this "test" is a problem that will create a worse problem than the one they are trying to divert. Just my two cents.
Posted by: RSVP at September 28, 2009 8:28 AM
I've always wondered why they haven't installed a right turn arrow for traffic going eastbound on market and turning onto 4th. It seems like it would allow far more cars to turn right and not make it necessary to dodge pedestrians.
Posted by: Mike R at September 28, 2009 8:49 AM
I don't see this as being too much of a change.
not too many regular cars drive on Market anyway, why would you when Mission is so much faster/easier to get to Embarcadero or anywhere that side.
The only place i see is people doing the loop from 5th to market to 4th to mission for parking or pickup/drop off people at Nordstrom/Bloomingdales etc etc.
Posted by: BDB at September 28, 2009 8:58 AM
Um, the "problem" with Market St. isn't the cars...
Posted by: NJ at September 28, 2009 9:53 AM
Ah geez. I cross market on Fell to 10th every morning. With the number of confused and hesitant drivers now turning from Market onto 10th, I think I'll go another way for at least a week.
Posted by: rr at September 28, 2009 10:00 AM
what is up with "will be encouraged..." It doesn't sound like a very sound traffic plan or policy. People will drive on whatever road is available if it's their fastest route, whether the sign encourages them to turn or not anyway.
Posted by: condoshopper at September 28, 2009 10:20 AM
You can't drive on Sansome for about 4 blocks except buses and commercial vehicles, no real idea why, but I drive on it all the time.
Posted by: BDB at September 28, 2009 10:54 AM
@NJ "Um, the "problem" with Market St. isn't the cars...".
Very true. I take it you are referring to the panhandlers, strong urine stench, "gentleman's" clubs, druggies and just overall smelly elements that traverse that stretch of Market Street ?
Posted by: Chad at September 28, 2009 1:44 PM
between eithth and sixth it is just one long urinal stretch of horror.
Posted by: kathleen at September 28, 2009 9:48 PM
This section of Market Street is really cleaned up over the last couple of weeks, if you haven't been by lately you might not have noticed. I am not sure where all the people that used to hang out there have moved to, but it looks like there are more homeless in the UN Plaza now.
The cops were out in force, ensuring that cars turned at each intersection. I wonder how long they are going to keep up that level of enforcement. It sure made bicycling easier.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at September 29, 2009 12:02 PM
This is typical local government madness. Let's create a "downtown pedestrian mall" right where the river of unemployed Tenderloin beggars, drunks, druggies, and mentally ill empties onto Market Street and meets up with the dollar stores and porno clubs. Sounds like they will need more than "traffic calming." New York is doing this in Times Square. But they cleaned up Times Square ten years ago. This area has not been cleaned up. And it's not that I didn't notice. I walk down this part of Market Street every day on my way to work. It's rife with urban blight, stink and degradation.
Posted by: RP at September 29, 2009 9:30 PM
The city should make the car closure effective only 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cars on the street are more eyes to deter crime late at night, and there aren't problems with traffic late.
Posted by: Dan at September 29, 2009 9:46 PM
Speaking of Dan's comment -- is it true that traffic lights in the Financial District are blinking red lights at night (e.g. essentially becoming stop signs) because people used to get harassed in their cars by hobos and thieves years and years ago before the area got cleaned up a bit, and so it was safer to keep people moving rather than have them wait at red lights? Someone told me this, but I wasn't sure -- I just figured there wasn't sufficient traffic at night to justify full traffic control.
Posted by: sfrenegade at September 30, 2009 8:45 AM
Anyone who hasn't noticed how much this area is different than it was just a month ago must really have blinders on. This week alone, they have literally cleaned up the sidewalk with daily power washes.
Now there are two MTA traffic cops at each intersection and on the way in this morning I counted three beat cops and a cop on a bicycle.
I don't know how long SFPD will keep up this level of enforcement but it is having a huge impact already.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 6, 2009 1:01 PM
Second NVJ's comments. From what I've seen so far, this is a huge improvement, and I hope they make it permanent. Maybe it will help clean up this nasty stretch of Market a bit. NVJ, new baby arrive yet?
Posted by: Trip at October 6, 2009 1:15 PM
Thanks for asking Trip, daughter number two just turned six months old. I think I stopped posting for a while during the press of juggling both kids and a job. Things are starting to calm down around the house a bit now though.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 6, 2009 1:33 PM
Congrats! Yes, 6 months is just about over the hump. If kids could pop out already 6 months old, we would have had more!
Posted by: Trip at October 6, 2009 1:35 PM