A Worldwide Movement
The idea of getting rid of cars from Market Street has been around as long as private cars, but this movement only started in 2009 when the city first tested the idea. In October, the San Francisco transit agency board unanimously approved the new plan for Market Street. European cities have also pushed this idea even further. Oslo is gradually moving cars out of its city center by banning drivers from many streets, putting more funds into public transit, and replacing parking spots with bike lanes and mini-parks. Amsterdam is already a haven for cyclists and will ban gas and diesel cars within its borders starting 2030. During the summer, Paris turned its riverside roadways into public “beaches.” The city plans to get rid of all diesel cars by 2025, encouraging residents and tourists to stop driving altogether, partly by making every last street as bike-friendly as possible. Especially in Europe, where diesel cars are becoming more and more popular, curtailing driving is pitched as a way not just to pacify the streets but to limit air pollution and climate change.