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The Tenderloin breaks new ground in slowing our streets with 20 MPH

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A big win for traffic safety in the Tenderloin

History was made today in the Tenderloin! SFMTA began installing first-in-the-city 20 MPH signs across the entire neighborhood. This is a big win for traffic safety in the Tenderloin, and an important step toward Vision Zero. Check out the gallery of photos below.

Neighborhood-wide 20 MPH speed limits will prevent many crashes and save lives in the Tenderloin. Slower speeds reduce the chances of a crash occurring in the first place, and how severe a crash is if one does happen. A person hit by the driver of a vehicle traveling 25 MPH vs. 20 MPH is twice as likely to be killed. Read more about why 20 MPH is so effective.

This is exactly the kind of proven, low-cost solution that when applied at scale can make a notable difference with traffic safety. SFMTA is also installing no-turn-on-red signs across the Tenderloin, which is incredibly important for better protecting people in the crosswalk. And next week, Vision Zero Quick Build safety projects on Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth Street should move forward.

All these safety improvements are urgently needed in a neighborhood where every single street is designated as “high-injury” in terms of the number of severe and fatal traffic crashes. And these improvements have been hard-won. But when neighbors, city leaders, elected officials, and advocates all work together, look what’s possible!

A lot of people have been part of making the Tenderloin a safe streets trailblazer. I’m especially grateful to my fellow members of Tenderloin Traffic Safety Task Force, who are some of the most passionate advocates I’ve met.

A very big thanks goes to Supervisor Haney for dedicating his SFCTA neighborhood transportation improvement funding to Tenderloin safety improvements. Because of his persistence and focus on safe streets,Tenderloin is now a model for other districts. Watching him unveil the first-of-its-kind 20 MPH sign today was a thrill!

This new policy and neighborhood-wide speed reduction wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and perseverance of the SFMTA Livable Streets planners and engineers who listened to the neighbors, looked at the data, and adapted the rules to lower speeds.

And of course I also want to thank all the Walk SF members and the Seed Fund for making our advocacy in the Tenderloin possible.

What this means for slowing our streets citywide

With speed as the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco, the need to slow our streets is urgently needed in all neighborhoods. Frustratingly, there are legislative hurdles to bringing 20 MPH speed limits to more streets immediately, which is why Walk SF is supporting Assembly Bill 43.

If AB 43 passes, there’s no doubt the Tenderloin will become the model for the rest of the city in setting speed limits based on safety. Together, we can and must #SlowOurStreets to save lives.