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Record Number of SF Residents Apply for Slower Neighborhood Streets

Monday, April 4, 2016

Note:  A Copy of 2015 Traffic Calming Applications Map and Factsheet Attached

Participation in the SFMTA’s yearly, application-based Traffic Calming Program has surged in the past three years to a record high. For the 2015/2016 program, 102 applications were submitted, which is 2.5 times the number of applications the SFMTA received in 2013 and 2014. Each application reflects broad community support, since at least 20 signatures from neighbors are required for submittal. 

Responding to this increased demand, this year the SFMTA is accepting twice the number of applications for this year’s program than originally planned (51 compared to 25). This is also three times the number of applications that were accepted in last year’s program. Each of the 51 approved locations will receive various traffic calming measures on their streets within the next 12 months.

“Initiatives like the Traffic Calming Program highlight our City’s deep commitment to safer streets,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “With so many deeply dedicated local champions for slower, safer streets, we will realize our Vision Zero goals to eliminate traffic deaths Citywide.”

“Local advocacy is key to creating safer, slower residential streets,” said Katy Tang, District 4 Supervisor. “Unsafe speeding is a problem that the community and local government is tackling together. I look forward to building safer streets for our families.”

This initiative complements San Francisco’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic deaths in San Francisco. While the SFMTA is focusing safety investments on the city’s High Injury Network, where just 12 percent of streets account for 70 percent of the city’s traffic crashes, traffic calming improves safety and livability on residential streets that are not necessarily high-crash locations.

“We’re glad to see increased interest from San Franciscans in making our street safer. Unsafe speed is the leading factor in severe injury and fatal traffic crashes in the city, claiming ten times more lives than drunk drivers,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “On some residential streets, we’ve seen cars consistently traveling between 35 – 40 MPH, which is egregious. Working with our neighbors, the SFMTA has been using devices like speed humps to great success, reducing the number of vehicles traveling between 35 – 40 MPH by 73 percent.”

A person walking hit by a car going 30 MPH is six times more likely to die than a person hit by a car moving at 20 MPH. For this reason, reducing speeds is a key focus not just for the SFMTA, but for San Francisco’s residents, who are requesting slower residential streets in record numbers.

The SFMTA's Residential Traffic Calming Program seeks to make San Francisco safer and more comfortable for everyone by designing streets that encourage slower speeds with measures like speed humps, median islands, traffic circles and lane width changes. The program is a way for the city and neighbors to work together to stop speeding on residential streets. Using a data-driven process to prioritize and approve applications, the SFMTA examines factors including speeding, crash history, traffic counts and presence of schools, transit stops, and bicycle routes.

“Speeding is a real problem in my neighborhood. Working together, the community has taken advantage of the SFMTA’s Traffic Calming Program to request a slower, safer street,” said Jennifer King, a Potrero Hill resident whose community request for traffic calming on Vermont Street was recently approved. “At the end of the day, I’m proud of how the neighbors have come together in support of safer streets for our kids and families.”

The SFMTA’s Traffic Calming Program has existed for over the past ten years. It was updated in 2012 to be even more responsive to community requests, and since then the SFMTA has implemented almost 70 traffic calming measures on 50 residential streets citywide. To learn more about the SFMTA’s Residential Traffic Calming, or to apply by the July 31 deadline, please visit: www.sfmta.com/calming.