San Francisco is the latest city to declare cars off-limits on a major city street, following the lead of New York. The city by the bay will soon close Market Street to cars, giving streetcars, buses, bicycles/electric scooters, and pedestrians free reign. This action follows New York City’s closing of 14th Street to cars and converting it to a dedicated bus way. This move decreased average bus trips by 30%.
San Francisco will reduce the size of bustling Market Street, widen sidewalks, and add an eight-foot-wide bike lane for bikes and e-scooters. Several cities in Europe and in others in the U.S. including Denver, Santa Monica, Madison, Charlottesville, and Chicago, have established pedestrian-only zones.
With the use of shared bikes and scooters more than doubling between 2017 and 2018, such initiatives may blossom over the next several years.