A Persistent and Effective Advocate for Safe Streets for All
Walk San Francisco was founded in 1998 by a small group of volunteers who were united by the belief that our streets and sidewalks should be safe and welcoming for all.
Today, Walk SF is known as a tireless advocate in pushing for – and winning – life-saving changes across the city. Powered by our diverse, passionate members, we want nothing less than to make San Francisco the most pedestrian-friendly city in the United States.
Explore some of our biggest wins since our founding.
Walk SF’s advocacy successfully led the City to establish safer speed zones around K-12 public and private schools citywide, which was implemented in 2012. San Francisco was California’s first city to implement 15-mph school zones on this scale. Today, we continue to work to improve walking conditions around schools, including through Safe Routes to School.
In 2014, San Francisco was the second city in the United States to adopt Vision Zero, in great part because of Walk SF’s advocacy work. Vision Zero is a commitment from City Hall and agencies to end all severe and fatal traffic crashes by 2024. This commitment has given us new leverage and momentum in winning safety improvements to our streets. Learn more about our Vision Zero campaign.
After two years of advocacy, we celebrated an important win in 2018 with our partners at Senior & Disability Action and the Transit Justice Group. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) agreed to increase the length of pedestrian crossing signals at every light with countdowns throughout the city! This life-saving win is especially important for seniors, families, and people with disabilities.
We tirelessly speak out at City Hall for the most comprehensive and cutting-edge safety improvements to our streets. Our advocacy led to a truly multimodal Second Street, boarding islands on Taraval Street, and reduced vehicle traffic on Market Street.
In 2018, we won the city’s first-ever raised intersection on Page Street and major “road diets” for 6th Street and Taylor Street. Learn more about our campaigns to fix San Francisco’s most dangerous streets.
Walk SF continues to be the city’s defender of sidewalk space. Sidewalks are our refuge as pedestrians, and we will always fight to protect them. This is why we advocated for and won the first U.S. law banning Segways from sidewalks back in 2002.
It’s why we have successfully pushed for higher fines for cars parking on the sidewalk, and why we helped Supervisor Norman Yee limit the testing of sidewalk delivery vehicles in 2017 to areas with few people walking. In 2018, we spoke out about electric scooters being illegally ridden on sidewalks.
In 2007, we joined the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and community advocates in winning Healthy Saturdays, which closes part of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to vehicle traffic on Saturdays for half of the year. (We continue to support the efforts to make Golden Gate Park streets car-free year-round.)
We’re proud to have helped launch the first Sunday Streets events in 2008 with Livable City, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and the YMCA. Today, Sunday Streets are an incredible success story, claiming car-congested streets for community health and transforming them into car-free spaces for all to enjoy – in every corner of the city.
We also advocated for permanent “parklets” in 2010, which are now a well-established way to reclaim streets as shared public spaces. Learn more about our work to win more Pedestrian-Only Streets and Events.
Our city must significantly invest in making our sidewalks, streets, and public space serve the millions of people walking in our city. We advocate for funding for pedestrian safety improvements at every opportunity.
We championed the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond passed in 2011, which has funded countless curb ramps, upgraded pedestrian signals, sidewalk extensions, and protected bicycle lanes across the city.
We were big supporters of Propositions A and B in 2014, both of which passed. These bonds are estimated to contribute $566 million to Vision Zero safety projects and improvements through 2030.
Our advocacy also led to a huge win in 2018 when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency five-year capital improvement plan prioritized spending for Vision Zero safety improvements on the high-injury network.
Read more about how congestion pricing could raise funds for street improvements.