New Better Market Street proposal being studied calls for establishing permanent cycle tracks on Mission Street and directing all bus traffic to Market Street
At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for a hearing on the status of the Better Market Street project, including the plan to establish permanent bicycle lanes on Mission Street and reroute all bus traffic from Mission Street to Market Street. This recently floated idea, which could result in reduced bike improvements on Market Street, has caused considerable debate and controversy. At this hearing City agencies will provide an update on the project, as well as the schedule and progress being made to improve inter-agency coordination.
"The Better Market Street project should be the best example of improving our streets through creating safer pedestrian and bike access and making thoughtful transit decisions," said Supervisor Wiener. "The plan should encourage people to make better use of public space and to advance our city's Transit-First policy. We need to carefully scrutinize any changes to the plan that could impact that goal."
Recent reports have revealed that one of the three proposals being studied for the project would create a protected bike lane on Mission Street while re-routing the Mission 14 buses onto Market Street. This would make Mission Street - not Market Street - the primary route for bicyclists in the area and could result in loss of street parking on Mission Street
"Our city's main street should be inviting for people walking, taking transit, and, of course, bicycling," said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "The recent proposal to move bikes off of Market Street is counter to a vision that so many community and business leaders share for a great Market Street that we can all be proud of. The City's small improvements of separated bikeways on mid-Market Street have already welcomed record numbers of people to bicycling and supported a rejuvenated mid-Market Street. Now is the time to expand on what's working, not to give up before trying. We urge the City to step up to the opportunity for a truly great Market Street."
Construction on the Better Market Street plan has been delayed to 2017 - four years passed the original intended construction date - due to underestimation of the complexity of the process and lack of coordinated project management. The Better Market Street project is the combined effort of multiple agencies including DPW, the Municipal Transportation Agency, the Planning Department, and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The hearing will take place in early March at the Land Use and Economic Development Committee.