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Which streets should San Francisco close to vehicular traffic?

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Think Sunday Streets but 24/7 year-round

San Francisco Sunday Streets on Valencia, 2014.
Sunday Streets on Valencia Street in the Mission, 2014.
Photo by David McSpadden

As vehicular congestion increases in San Francisco, due in part to the advent of ride-hailing apps, the dominance of automobiles is prevalent now more than ever. Which is why it would be a smashing idea to close stretches of San Francisco streets to cars—for good.

But which streets? There are many from which to choose.

Take, for example, the plan to ban most cars on the stretch of Market Street between 10th Street and the Embarcadero, under the Better Market Plan, which gets discussed every year.

And Sunday Streets prove that it can be done successfully. The once-a-month, spring- and summertime street closures allow denizens to pedal, walk, and even dance on streets rendered safe during one all-too-brief afternoon.

Areas like the Mission, the Tenderloin, SoMa, the Sunset, and Western Addition break free from the chokehold vehicular traffic imposes on a neighborhood’s quality of life. People talk to each other. Kids play. Car-related deaths drop to almost zero. Good stuff.

“Streets that are open exclusively for people walking, biking and taking transit are essential if the city wishes to meet its own strategic goals toward fighting climate change and achieving Vision Zero,” says Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “There are a couple of streets that would be easy places to start: Market Street and JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Both streets already have partial open streets or turn restrictions for automobiles as well as plans in the works to expand access for people on foot, bike and transit.”

Wouldn’t it be great if this happened 24/7/365? Tell us which intersections or street sections you would like to see stripped of cars—and why.