It’s been nearly one month since Slow Streets was announced by Mayor London Breed and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Since then, the program has expanded to many more neighborhoods and we’ve heard so many stories of people enjoying these open streets throughout the city. So, has the program lived up to its initial hype? What can be improved?
Slow Streets is a new program with the goal of providing more space for people to bike and walk on our city’s streets by reducing car traffic and slowing down speeds. From Lake Street to 41st Avenue to Page Street, the SFMTA has placed barriers and signage to prohibit through traffic.
When the Slow Streets program was first announced, your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition wrote a letter to our City leaders expressing our excitement. We’ve long championed car-free spaces as a way to increase the health and safety of our neighborhoods. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has more critical than ever. We’re starting to see how Slow Streets can assist in our city’s economic recovery by increasing street space for restaurant and cafe seating while also accommodating curbside pickup for storefront retail.
We have also pointed out where Slow Streets could be improved. Specifically, we explained how they should be expanded to some of our most dense neighborhoods, particularly the Tenderloin. It’s important that communities buy into the program and take ownership, given Slow Streets was initially introduced with limited community input. We are working every day with local stakeholders and our members throughout the city so that every neighborhood can enjoy and benefit.
Fortunately, many of our Supervisors have also expressed their support, and the program is expanding. The SFMTA is implementing new Slow Streets every few days, and this week, we’re excited to see Excelsior Avenue, Shotwell Street, Sanchez Street and others added to the list.
Do you want to see Slow Streets in your neighborhood? Do you have feedback for the SFMTA? Learn more at sfmta.com/slowstreets and take their survey today as we keep advocating for streets that are designed for people.