Slow Streets Program to Help With Social Distancing

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

With Muni service temporarily reduced during the COVID-19 health crisis, many San Francisco residents need to walk and take other modes of transportation to make essential trips. However, sometimes it is difficult to maintain 6’ of social distance on many sidewalks, park paths, and bikeways. This can be especially true when passing lines outside grocery stores and other essential services. Because of this, many pedestrians are choosing to walk in the street, exposing themselves to swiftly moving vehicle traffic. The SFMTA is implementing a new program, Slow Streets, to limit through traffic on certain residential streets and allow them to be used more as a shared space for foot and bicycle traffic.

What Will Slow Streets look like?

The purpose of Slow Streets is to manage traffic speeds and create a safe network for essential walk and bike travel while transit service levels are reduced. Our agency is committed to giving San Franciscans the necessary space to practice social distancing as they leave their homes for critical needs.

Slow Streets will prioritize walking and biking by limiting through traffic on residential streets. Simple tools such as temporary signs and cones will be used to divert through traffic and slow down traffic. The California Vehicle Code states that motor vehicles still have right-of-way in the street, but these simple strategies are designed to ensure safety for people who are walking or jogging in the street to maintain social distance. Access to driveways and deliveries will be maintained for local residents and businesses. 

map showing slow street possible streets with bike paths

*Please see the Slow Streets Program Webpage for the most up to date map.

Slow Streets candidates

  • Good candidates for the first phase of Slow Streets are shown on the map and in the table. These are lower-traffic residential streets that connect neighbors to essential services in the absence of Muni service. They have been vetted for feasibility and exclude Muni routes and major emergency traffic corridors.
  • For most Slow Streets, the rollout will be iterative based on our staff resources - approximately 8 blocks at a time - and may not initially cover the entire length shown on the map. Careful monitoring will be provided to ensure the transportation benefits of Slow Streets are not undermined by crowding and congregation.
Street From To Muni Routes
17th Street Church Guerrero 22 Fillmore, 33 Stanyan
20th Avenue Lincoln Ortega 28 - 19th Ave
22nd Street Valencia Chattanooga 48 Quintara/24th Street
41st Avenue Lincoln Vicente 18 - 46th Ave
Ellis Polk Leavenworth 27 Bryant, 38 Geary
Holloway Beverly Harold K Ingleside, 29 Sunset
Kirkham Great Highway 7th Avenue N Judah
Phelps Oakdale Evans 23 Monterey, 44 O'Shaughnessy
Ortega Great Highway 14th Avenue 7 Haight/Noriega
Page Stanyan Octavia 7 Haight/Noriega
Quesada Jennings Fitch 23 Monterey, 44 O'Shaughnessy
Scott Eddy Page 24 Divisadero

Please see the Slow Streets Program Webpage for the most up to date information.

When will Slow Streets begin?

Starting immediately, we hope to implement 2-3 Slow Streets corridors per week, iterating as needed to achieve the objectives of the program. We will continue to monitor the use of Slow Streets to minimize impacts on surrounding streets and welcome feedback from the community. 

How were the Slow Streets corridors chosen?

The streets were chosen to supplement reduced or suspended Muni routes, while providing bicycle and pedestrian access to essential services. Many of these streets run parallel to other major streets and transit routes. The Slow Streets are intended to provide a network of streets that prioritize walking and biking for essential trips.

Slow Streets are one part of the city’s efforts to reduce sidewalk crowding. Other efforts include converting vehicle parking outside grocery stores and restaurants to create extra pedestrian queueing space and widening sidewalks by removing vehicle parking on select high-pedestrian traffic streets. 

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