An idea has been circulating around for quite a while now to remove private auto traffic from Powell Street, between Geary and Market. This post at Market Street Railway makes some good points regarding the idea, particularly with some unique safety issues cable cars (and their operators) face, as well as the wear and tear on the cable system itself from auto traffic.
A “pilot plan” is up for approval next month, and would allow the SFMTA to decide whether such a plan would work long term. I actually ride the cable cars more often than most, and the swarm of tourists (particularly in the summertime) make driving down there a nightmare to begin with. Plus, the on street parking was eliminated some time ago by the parklets, and removing private cars from this stretch of Powell would help make this area safer for people in the area, and make operating the cable cars safer and more efficient.
Plus, I’ve seen enough doofus drivers, such as this one from way back when, doing some pretty stupid moves in this are, endangering everyone. This is one of those decisions that people tend to make up hysterical predictions of Doom and Gloom, only to find that when it happens, it ends up working out fairly well. It certainly is better than say, drilling a big hole into Stockton Street for months or years, right?