What will it take to slow our streets? AB 43 would help
If there is one thing that can and will save lives from traffic crashes, it’s slowing speeds.
It’s as simple as the graph below. It’s also because the faster a driver goes, the smaller a driver’s field of vision is, and the less time a driver has to react and prevent a crash.
The tools to slow our streets
There are a lot of tools that are proven to slow our streets to save lives. Think beyond the speed hump (though speed humps and tables are great). Signal lights can be timed to keep drivers from getting to dangerous speeds. Bumpers and posts can be strategically placed in intersections so drivers go safe speeds. Traffic lanes can be narrowed or removed to bring down speeds.
San Francisco is using all these speed-slowing tools, though some at a small scale. That’s why Walk SF and the Vision Zero Coalition are pushing for SFMTA to bring these tools quickly across the entire high-injury network and development a speed management plan to more strategically use these tools (speak out with us on July 27).
But certain speed-slowing tools are only available if state legislation is passed. Earlier this spring, Walk SF was deeply disappointed when Assembly Bill 550 didn’t make it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This means San Francisco is still unable to pilot speed safety systems.
AB 43 would give San Francisco an important tool to set speed limits for safety
The good news is that Assembly Bill 43 continues to move through the State Legislature. AB 43 would give California cities greater freedom to set speed limits based on safety (read more in The Frisc). There are many streets here in San Francisco that should have lower speed limits, but the City is unable to change them under current law. (The new 20 MPH limits in the Tenderloin are an exception.) Meanwhile, leading Vision Zero cities nationwide have been lowering speed limits and seeing reduced crashes.
AB 43 still has some hurdles; it’s next stop is the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 16. Walk SF is doing everything in our power to help this bill make it to the Governor’s desk. Members of Families for Safe Streets, who have either lost a loved one or survived a crash themselves, have been incredible advocates for AB 43 every step of the way.
A big thanks to all our members – your support launched Walk SF’s #SlowOurStreets campaign, and gives Walk SF the ability to work on state legislation!