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Release date: 9/29/09

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) launched the pilot to test Market Street traffic changes for the City’s Market Street revitalization project this morning. The SFMTA’s traffic changes pilot will continue for approximately six weeks. Beginning today, private motorists travelling eastbound on Market Street will be encouraged to turn right on 10th Street and will be required to turn right at 8th Street. Motorists who turn right onto Market Street from 7th Street will be required to turn right at 6th Street.

The pilot began this morning with traffic signs and a large electronic message sign posted on Market Street on the approach to 8th and 6th streets instructing drivers to make the necessary turn. San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Officers with the Traffic Company controlled the intersections, directing traffic in the street as well as pedestrians crossing Market Street and side streets.

City officials collaborated on adjustments as the morning traffic increased through the commute hours. A Parking Control Officer was added to the intersection of 8th and Market streets to assist vehicles turning right at 8th Street and another large electronic sign was added on Market Street between 8th and 9th streets to alert motorists and other travelers to the changes further down the street. Agency officials will continue to monitor traffic on Market Street and the surrounding areas and will make further adjustments as needed.

Anecdotally, less car traffic east of 8th Street made Market Street calmer for pedestrians and cyclists and allowed transit vehicles easier access to the center boarding islands. SFMTA staff will gather data over the course of the pilot to verify the validity of these early observations.

"The pilot project on Market Street is the beginning of San Francisco’s comprehensive evaluation of our needs for Market Street and our capacity to reinvent it as an inviting public space,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO of the SFMTA.

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