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How ‘Senior Zones’ can start to slow our streets

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We need to #SlowOurStreets… but it’s complicated

Speed is the #1 contributor to severe and fatal traffic crashes on our streets. That’s why Walk SF launched our Slow Our Streets campaign this year and we continue to push city leaders to put an end to dangerous speeds (add your voice!). 

Cities around the country are showing that citywide reduced speed limits are a powerful way to reduce severe and fatal crash rates – and this is absolutely the direction San Francisco needs to go. But frustratingly, California law currently requires speed limits to be set based on how fast most drivers are going, not on what’s needed to keep people safe (yes, you read that correctly). 

Until legislation is hopefully passed in 2021 to change this, we’re grateful that SFMTA is now finding any areas where lower speed limits are possible within the law. One place this can happen now is on streets with senior centers and speed limits above 25 MPH.

Five San Francisco streets are getting Senior Zones 

SFMTA has since committed to bring ‘Senior Zones’ to eligible sections of these streets: Bush Street, Sunnydale Avenue, Geary Boulevard, 19th Avenue, and Brotherhood Way. 

As of publication, SFMTA has installed 25 MPH Senior Zones on Geary Boulevard. Just this morning we captured this photo of signs going up on Sunnydale. The remaining streets need to happen ASAP (add your voice)! 

What ‘Senior Zones’ means for pedestrians

We recognize that short stretches of 25 MPH on these dangerous roads will only go so far to change driver behavior and protect pedestrians. 

But it’s a start on a much-needed path to set speed limits with full consideration for people walking, especially seniors and children.

Walk SF will continue to push for state legislation so we can bring comprehensive, safety-first speed setting to our streets.

Thank you, SFMTA Director Tumlin and the Livable Streets team for your work to make these changes!