People riding the boat tram on car-free market street

Starting today, Market Street through downtown is car-free.

City leaders, advocacy organizations, community members, and city agencies gathered at Embarcadero Plaza to celebrate the new car-free zone. Congrats to SFMTA for kicking off these improvements through its quick-build program. 

Car-free Zone


The street transformation includes:

  • 100 new cross-street passenger and commercial loading zones to accommodate safe loading
  • Peak hour loading restrictions on Market Street to reduce conflicts between people on bicycles, transit and commercial vehicles
  • Extending existing transit-only lane east from Third to Main Street - the segment of Market with the most transit service - and making it Muni-only (taxis and non-Muni buses will no longer be allowed) Installing painted safety zones at eight intersections to make crossing the street safer
  • Adding bicycle intersection improvements at Eighth, Page, Battery, and Valencia streets
  • Changes to sections of Ellis, Jones, 2nd and Steuart streets to improve safety and vehicle movement

The Transportation Authority has provided over $6 million in sales tax funds to support SFMTA's Quick Build program and planning for a safer Market Street. We have also committed $17 million towards the Better Market Street project.

The implementation of car-free Market Street has been a long-time coming: The Transportation Authority developed the Market Street Action Plan in 2004 and published a policy study (PDF) recommending automobile restrictions for Market Street in 2009. This helped inform the SFMTA's subsequent approval of turn restrictions and the decision to implement a car-free Market Street.

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San Francisco's voter-approved Transit-First Policy states that decisions regarding the use of our public streets and sidewalks shall prioritize public rights of way for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit.

The Better Market Street project will deliver transformative transportation, street, and safety improvements along 2.2 miles of Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero.

San Francisco has vowed to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2024 through education, enforcement, and road infrastructure redesign.