Just a couple months ago we wrote about San Francisco’s grand plan to ban cars from Market Street—the notoriously congested spine of the city. But the thing about plans is that it’s always a question as to whether or not they’ll actually come to fruition.
The good news is that San Francisco’s plans seem to be succeeding, much to the enjoyment of local residents. It used to be that cars and delivery trucks would vie with bikes and pedestrians along this downtown corridor, as buses and a historic streetcar clatter through the mix. Now, starting this week, private vehicles—meaning both passenger automobiles and for-hire ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft—may no longer drive down Market, east of 10th Street.
Only buses, streetcars, traditional taxis, ambulances, and freight drop-offs are still allowed. The closure to private vehicle traffic heralds the start of a new era for the city’s central spine, and perhaps for San Francisco at large, as it joins cities around the world that are restricting cars from downtown centers.