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Driving in San Francisco? Might want to stay off eastbound Market Street

City closes downtown thoroughfare at Sixth Street and Eighth Street

Planning on driving in downtown San Francisco? You might want to stay off eastbound Market Street.

Starting yesterday, a trial program aimed at reducing traffic congestion on Market Street is requiring motorists driving toward the Ferry Building to turn right at Eighth Street, or two blocks later at Sixth Street.

Drivers who fail to obey the signs could face a fine of $167, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Judson True said. Buses, taxis, delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles and bicycles are exempt.

The goal is to reduce traffic flow along the heart of Market Street by about 200 cars each hour, True said.

During the trial period, traffic will be monitored at 18 intersections along Market Street and in the South of Market neighborhood, which will see its traffic increase.

"Folsom (Street) has a fair amount of capacity so we'll be monitoring it," True said.

Westbound traffic won't be affected by the changes, and cars traveling north and south will still be able to cross Market Street.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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