Skip links

We must slow our streets

Bringing down speeds will save lives

25 people have been killed in traffic crashes in San Francisco so far this year. Hundreds more have been severely injured.

And the #1 cause is speed.

The faster a vehicle is traveling at the moment of impact, the more serious the injuries and the higher the risk of death. The faster a driver is going, the more likely a crash is to occur because the driver has a smaller scope of vision, less time to react, and it will take longer to stop the vehicle.

A person struck by a driver traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a person struck by a driver going 25 MPH. The risk of death increases dramatically between 20MPH and 40MPH, as illustrated in the graph below. And of people walking, those who are the most at risk of being hurt or killed are children, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, and low-income people.

It’s time for San Francisco to step up in bringing down dangerous speeds. City leaders must tackle this aggressively, comprehensively, and in new ways. And that’s what the Slow Our Streets campaign is all about.

The Slow Our Streets campaign

Here’s what the Slow Our Streets campaign will do in 2022 with your support:

1. Collect speed data across the city to show the scale of the problem.

We’ll hit the streets with neighborhood groups and people like you to gather data on what’s really happening with speeding. Then we’ll bring this to decision makers and the media.

2. Build a diverse, neighborhood-by-neighborhood movement to Slow Our Streets.

We know that so much of what happens – or doesn’t happen – with traffic safety is a matter of political will. We need to build the strength of our movement through community organizing and new partnerships. We’ll bring extra focus to neighborhoods like the Bayview and Excelsior, where many streets have speed limits above 25 MPH, high crash rates, and haven’t seen the traffic safety improvements they deserve.

3. Push the City to adopt the strongest possible speed management plan.

With the help of our members and the Vision Zero Coalition, we got the City to commit to create a speed plan in 2022. Now we must win a plan that actually shifts how the City approaches speed with real commitments that we can hold the City accountable to. This means watchdogging and advocating for the most effective speed solutions.

4. Push for lower speed limits wherever possible ASAP.

Now that Assembly Bill 43 is law, San Francisco has new authority to lower speed limits on certain types of streets. We need to push the City to push this new authority to the max.

5. Win big changes to bring down speeds on the most dangerous streets.

As the City moves forward with safety improvements on streets with the highest crash rates, we must push for designs that meet the highest standards for preventing speeding and protecting pedestrians. Hyde Street, Lincoln Way, and Bayshore Boulevard are at the top of the list in early 2022.

And of course we must keep advocating for more permanent spaces where we can all enjoy walking without fear of dangerous speeds, like JFK Drive and Slow Streets.

How you can help Slow Our Streets

We’re counting on you to get involved in the Slow Our Streets campaign in 2022. But right now, we need you to support the campaign.

Your support is how this campaign can go big in 2022 and win life-saving changes on our streets.

Your donation by year-end will give Walk SF the capacity to organize across the city and push at City Hall.

There are big opportunities to bring down dangerous speeds in 2022. We can seize them with your help.

Questions? Contact Marta Lindsey at marta@walksf.org.