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Car-Free Market Street Benefits Micromobility, Transit Without Ruining Car Commutes, Studies Say

Multiple studies have quantified the early results from a project in San Francisco that blocked most private automobile traffic from Market Street in the city's downtown.
March 8, 2020, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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San Francisco, California

Regina Clelow shares news of a new study into the effects of Better Market Street in San Francisco, reporting large increases of the number of people riding scooters on the newly car-free Market Street:

The average daily scooter ridership the weeks of February 2–29, 2020 increased by 30 percent from the prior three weeks of January 5–25, 2020 before car-free Market.

Clelow puts the scooter ridership data in context of the vast, proven potential of micromobility and street changes to improve the safety and sustainability of city streets.

Another study, reported by Rachel Swan in February, found evidence of small increases in congestion on roads proximate to Market Street, proving incorrect predictions of gridlock (and not for the first time) as a result of removing cars from a major thoroughfare:

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%.

And for one final angle on the modes benefiting from Better Market Street, the Inrix report also found evidence of improved transit travel times along the corridor:

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.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Populus on Medium
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