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San Francisco Pol Wants to Ban Cars on Market Street

9:01 AM PDT on July 29, 2008

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that City Supervisor Chris Daly wants to ban cars from part of Market Street.  While transit would still be able to traverse the 2.3 mile stretch between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero all privately owned passenger vehicles would be banned.

Daly says that the idea of closing Market Street came from the popularity of temporary street closures that Mayor Gavin Newsome is proposing.

Daly said discussion of aproposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to close portions of city streets,including a large stretch of the Embarcadero, on two Sundays this yearprompted his action.

"It's the city's grand boulevard," Daly said. "Why don't we go for the gold?"

Closing the 2.3-mile portion of Market Street would open theoften-congested roadway to pedestrians and cyclists, though Daly saidthere would still need to be places where cars and other vehicles couldcross.

Hopefully the reaction in the comments section isn't reflective of the overall mood of the populace towards street closures.  Most of the 590 comments on the Chronicle story are less than supportive.  Car free streets may be popular with the reform advocates and cyclists,
but if the reaction of the Chronicle's readers is any indication, they
have a long way to go before catching on with mainstream America.Some examples from the first page of comments:

Excellent! This way, business on Market will dry up, and all the carswill just end up on side streets anyway causing evey more trafficheadaches. I can't think of a better idea.


Yet another example of why we need to make the board of supervisorsposition a part time job. These imbiciles have too much time on theirhands so they come up with worthless legislation. Mission, Howard andFolsom Streets are already quite busy so the idea of diverting trafficto those streets is only more absurd. I suppose if one were to badautomobiles on Market Street, it would only make sense to ban bicyclessince they are equally reckless in the face of pedestrians.

Photo: Kurt Rogers/San Francisco Chronicle

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