A coalition of pedestrians and cyclists have called for the banning of private cars on Market Street in downtown San Francisco.

Carrie Hodousek/KCBS Radio

Private Cars Should Be Banned From Downtown San Francisco's Main Drag, Bike And Pedestrian Groups Say

Carrie Hodousek
May 02, 2019 - 1:15 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — Private cars should be prevented from driving on a busy stretch of Market Street in downtown San Francisco, according to cycling and pedestrian safety advocates.

Market Street bears the load of nearly 500,000 pedestrians per day and 75,000 bus riders. It's also the busiest street in San Francisco for cyclists. With that level of traffic, the activists said that no other vehicles besides taxis and buses should be allowed on the main artery from the beginning of Market Street, near the Ferry Building, to Van Ness Avenue. 

Activists wearing yellow shirts and using the crosswalk at the intersection at Market and Montgomery streets tried on Wednesday to mobilize support for their ambitious idea. 

"Cars are making right turns onto Market right here and that makes it dangerous and ineffective for everybody that uses it," said Matt Mezzina with People Protected. "If you restrict the turns, then cars can't go onto the streets, and, therefore, it's safer and better for everybody."

The city already has plans to implement the restrictions, but have not done so yet. Protestors said the time to do that is now.

"It helps Muni move faster and more reliably," Cat Carter, who's with San Francisco Transit Riders. "Getting them [city buses> caught behind private traffic isn't a good way…to get people around town."