The Tenderloin becomes a 20 mph zone

For the first time ever, a San Francisco neighborhood has implemented a neighborhood-wide speed limit! On March 16, in an effort to advance street safety in the Tenderloin, the SF Municipal Transportation (SFMTA) Board unanimously approved a 20 mph pilot that turns the entire neighborhood into a 20 mph zone in addition to a No Turn on Red pilot that restricts vehicles from making turns at 54 intersections. Your SF Bicycle Coalition called in with our partners on the Tenderloin Traffic Safety Task Force to express our strong support for the pilots.

We know the Tenderloin is a diverse, residential neighborhood home to many children, families, seniors and people with disabilities. For decades, the community has asked for lowered speed limits around schools and senior centers as well as infrastructure improvements like raised crosswalks to lessen speeds.

I was born and raised in the Tenderloin and now serve as the downtown community organizer for the SF Bicycle Coalition. I know all too well what it’s like to grow up in a neighborhood where there are no nearby parks and you can’t play in the street because cars are moving way too fast. For the most part, that’s still the case today for children growing up in the Tenderloin.

During the hearing I shared, “Today, I think about my five year old niece who walks all over the Tenderloin with her grandmother.I think about how she’s never going to be able to learn how to ride a bike on her neighborhood streets like other children across the city because the current street conditions don’t allow her to do that safely.” 

As every street in the Tenderloin remains on the High-Injury Network, the approval of these pilots is a great start to improving traffic safety in the community and envisioning what our streets, neighborhoods, and city can look like in the future. 

Now is the time to make bold, innovative changes to the way we see street safety in our neighborhoods. We know that education and compliance plays a large role in these pilots being successful — and this is where our work to develop community alternatives to traffic enforcement (TLCAP) comes in. 

Over 300 20 mph and No Turn on Red signs are going to be installed in the neighborhood next month, and we will work with the SFMTA and our Tenderloin community partners to ensure an equitable compliance plan is created using the feedback we heard from our TLCAP campaign outreach.

With all of these street safety projects happening in the Tenderloin, our community alternatives for traffic safety campaign is increasingly important. To stay in-touch with all of the work we’re doing in the neighborhood, sign up for campaign updates below.

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