SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – It has been over a year since the Slow Street program began in San Francisco, and according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, residents support it.
The program began in April 2020 to ‘limit through traffic on certain residential streets’ in order for people to walk, bike, and play in a safe manner during the pandemic.
Since then, SFMTA designated about 47 miles of roads as Slow Streets.
The program has evolved from a critical component of San Francisco’s pandemic response and recovery to a potential new avenue to further the city and SFMTA’s goals around climate action and sustainable transportation.
During the program, SFMTA mailed out surveys to residents within a quarter-mile of a Slow Street — More than 15,000 residents responded.
71% of those residents agreed that streets designated as Slow Streets became safer.
The feedback also showed that residents feel that the program did not cause an increase in traffic. SFMTA says they are aware that traffic volumes during the pandemic were lower and will continue to monitor the roads.
“Of the Slow Streets in the network, 100% met the baseline conditions for a low-stress facility—fewer than 3,000 average daily vehicles and typical vehicle speeds of less than 25 mph. After a street is designated as a Slow Street, it seems, on average, a 35% decrease in daily traffic and a 14% decrease in vehicle speeds—along with a 36% decrease, on average, in collisions across the network,” SFMTA officials said.
A final takeaway was that the less traffic there was, the more likely residents would use the streets to bike or walk.
San Francisco is beginning the next step in making the Slow Streets an ongoing program.
So far, four corridors that will remain in place after the pandemic are:
- Sanchez Street
- Shotwell Street
- Golden Gate Avenue
- Lake Street
To find more information, you can visit the Post-Pandemic Slow Streets website.