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SFMTA Announces Success of City’s First “Home Zone” Project

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Today, children walking to school are safer and more residents are strolling in their small Mission District neighborhood thanks to the success of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s first “home zone” project in San Francisco.


The SFMTA, which oversees all ground transportation in the city, took a holistic approach to making the six-block neighborhood safer and more walkable, using raised crosswalks, speed humps, and roadway narrowing to create a “home zone” -- a community-focused area where traffic calming measures put people first, whether they are walking, riding bicycles, or in a car.


"With so many kids and parents who get to Marshall Elementary by foot, bus or bike, improving safety was critical,” said Supervisor David Campos. “We are thrilled to see that traffic is slowing down, and that our families and community feel safer thanks to the home zone project.”


From 2012 to 2014, the SFMTA implemented a suite of traffic calming measures in a small residential area in the Mission District. The project is centered around Marshall Elementary School, which has San Francisco’s highest rate of kids and families walking, scooting, skating and biking to school. 


A comprehensive study by the SFMTA demonstrates success of the Minna-Natoma Home Zone Project, which has resulted in:

  • A reduction in vehicle speeds to less than 20 MPH throughout the entire project area
  • An increased perception of pedestrian safety with regard to vehicles yielding and stopping
  • A 20 percent surge in pedestrian volumes in the project area
  • A 6 percent increase in bike ridership on 15th Street between South Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street


“San Francisco’s first home zone not only reduced vehicle speeds, it also made neighbors feel safer overall as they walk around,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “Projects like these support our Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths and help us redesign neighborhood streets to make them safer and more inviting for our communities.”


The Minna-Natoma Home Zone Project was the first of its kind in San Francisco, focusing on a small residential area bordered by 14th and 16th streets and South Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street. The area included Minna, Natoma, 15th, Capp, and Adair streets. The neighborhood was selected for the project based on a number of factors including traffic speeds, volumes, collision history, and proximity to neighborhood attractions.


Responding to community concerns, the SFMTA implemented the following measures:


  • Speed Humps – Three speed humps were installed, one each on Minna, Natoma and Capp streets.


  • Edgelines – Edgelines are painted lines that narrow the road to lower speeds. Edgelines reduced the travel lane width to 10 feet on Minna, Adair and 15th streets, and were also painted on Capp Street, reducing the roadway to 20 feet wide.


  • Raised Crosswalks – Raised crosswalks cause vehicles to slow as they mount and cross an intersection. In total, eight were installed in the project area.


  • Lane Reduction – On 15th Street, between South Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street, a lane reduction was installed in conjunction with edgelines to visually narrow the remaining lane of traffic.


  • Bulbouts – Bulbouts increase safety by shortening crossing distances and increasing visibility for pedestrians. Three were installed at Capp and 15th Streets. 


"This home zone project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when streets are designed to be family-friendly. Not only was the most dangerous driving behavior addressed -- speed -- but walking, wheelchair rolling and bicycling to school skyrocketed,” said Nicole Ferrara, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “These are exactly the types of infrastructure projects that must be replicated in school and senior zones citywide." 


To learn more about the Minna-Natoma Home Zone Project, please visit www.sfmta.com/minnanatoma or read the SFMTA’s Moving SF blog post and infographic at www.sfmta.com/about-sfmta/blog/san-francisco-first-home-zone-success.


Each year, the SFMTA works with neighbors interested in calming traffic in their residential neighborhoods through the agency’s Residential Traffic Calming Program. Interested residents can formally apply for traffic calming by submitting an application and petition to the SFMTA. More information can be found at www.sfmta.com/calming.


This project was made possible by local Prop K funds, administered by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA). The Minna-Natoma Home Zone Project and the agency’s existing Residential Traffic Calming Program are in support of San Francisco’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024. For more information, go to: www.visionzerosf.org