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No ‘carmageddon’ on auto-free Market Street. Study shows bikes and buses benefit




San Francisco’s car ban on Market Street — introduced a month ago after 10 years of handwringing — has barely affected motorists, with almost no spillover traffic on side streets. But it’s a huge improvement for buses, streetcars and bicycles.

Congestion increased only marginally on nearby roads, according to new data from the traffic analytics firm Inrix. It shows that the biggest slowdown occurred on Mission Street, where southbound vehicle speeds decreased by 4% — from 10.3 miles per hour to 9.9 miles per hour — during the 8 a.m. commute. On other adjacent streets, car speeds declined by an average of 1%.

On the flip side, transit riders on Market Street benefited significantly from the removal of cars. Muni lines are running 6% faster on average, said Erica Kato, an agency spokeswoman. Some bus lines shaved 12% travel time, which means rides are two minutes shorter.

Cyclists are thriving. Since the city banished private automobiles from its main spine on Jan. 29, the number of bicycles increased by 25%.

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