On January 29th Market Street in San Francisco, California went car free, the culmination of decades of advocacy, planning, and incremental restrictions on private vehicles. The project was pursued for a multitude of reasons including transit reliability, bicycle safety, pedestrian experience, and economic benefits. INRIX has now analyzed the impact of the street’s closure on supplementary routes by examining travel speed for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before and after the closure, before corresponding to the period January 12 to 25th and after the period of February 1st to 22nd.
Overall, the closure had a benign impact on travel speeds with speeds decreasing by an average of 1 percent in the morning and by 0 percent in the afternoon. However, when looking exclusively at performance on Mission St., which immediately parallels Market St., there is decrease in performance during both the AM and PM periods, in particular southbound in the mornings of approximately 4 percent. The decline in performance on Mission St indicates traffic displaced by the closure of Market has led to an increase of congestion, albeit marginally.
Overall, the cumulative time savings experienced by the more than 75,000 daily public transit users on Market St. greatly exceed the marginal increase in travel times experienced by car users in the closure’s vicinity. Similar to the 14th St. Busway in New York, the concerns of increased congestion were greatly overblown relative to the massive realized benefits.
|Howard St.||Metrics||7:00 AM||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||5:00 PM||6:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Mission St. Southbound||Metrics||7:00 AM||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||5:00 PM||6:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Mission St. Northbound||Metrics||7:00 AM||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||5:00 PM||6:00 PM||7:00 PM|
|Folsom St.||Metrics||7:00 AM||8:00 AM||9:00 AM||5:00 PM||6:00 PM||7:00 PM|