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About Slow Streets - FAQs

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Lake Street Slow Street

What do Slow Streets look like? 

Simple tools such as temporary signs and cones are used to divert through vehicle traffic and slow down overall vehicle speeds. The California Vehicle Code states that motor vehicles still have right-of-way in the street, but these simple strategies are designed to improve safety for people who are walking or jogging. Access to driveways and deliveries will be maintained for residents and businesses. 

Why are there intersections with missing signage or barriers along a Slow Street?

Unfortunately, due to the current health crisis, there are limited materials available at this time. We are actively acquiring more signs/barricades and are working to balance both expanding the Slow Streets program and filling in gaps in the network with limited resources.  

To conserve materials while implementing a program across the city, we're initially installing signs/barricades at most -- but not all -- intersections along Slow Streets. We are also looking into new types of barriers that will stand up to the wear and tear that can occur on outdoor signage. We thank you for your patience!

Do Slow Streets work everywhere?

Unfortunately, not all residential streets are good candidates for the Slow Streets program. Streets with traffic signals, one-ways, streets containing Muni lines, and emergency service corridors all limit our ability to implement a Slow Street. We are however using many of our other tools such as Shared Spaces, the bicycle network, Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway/Walkway to have a broader network that spans the city.  We are working with other city agencies to provide many different forms of outdoor space for all neighborhoods. We realize that outdoor space is even more important during these trying times and want to maximize our limited resources.

What if I see damaged or missing signs?

You can email our Slow Streets project team or send us a message via Twitter @SFMTA_Muni. If possible please include a photo and the intersection in question.

Why are these streets being restricted to local access only?

Slow Streets are one part of the city’s efforts to reduce crowding by creating more space for those traveling on foot or by bicycle while still making sure people who live on the streets have full access.

How can businesses report concerns about impacts to parking?

There are no changes to parking proposed as part of the Slow Streets initiative. Slow Streets are designated with temporary signage and barriers aimed to reduce through vehicle traffic. We anticipate there will be no impact on parking for businesses/residents on or near Slow Streets. If you have specific concerns, please contact us at the email contacts below.  

Does this mean I can have a socially distant block party or BBQ on a Slow Street?

No, Slow Streets are intended to provide priority pedestrian and bicycle corridors for essential travel in San Francisco. While outdoor exercise is permitted under the Shelter in Place ordinance, these are not locations for public gatherings.

How will enforcement over parking and resident access, including disabled parking access, be affected?

There is no change to parking or resident access with these street restrictions. Local vehicle traffic will continue to be accommodated on all Slow Streets, and no changes to disabled parking are proposed. Due to other public safety staffing commitments, these streets are designed to be self-enforcing.

How can I provide feedback on the program?

We would love to hear your feedback on the Slow Street Program. To provide feedback, please respond to our questionnaire or email us at

Other Street Closures

What is happening in Golden Gate Park?

On September 18th, 2020, new expansions to the Golden Gate Park Slow Streets program were opened up to the public. Walkers, bikers, runners and skaters can now enjoy a nearly car-free route from the east end of Golden Gate Park to the ocean. This is part of a collaboration between the SFMTA and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Golden Gate Park Slow Streets begin at Stanyan Street and John F. Kennedy Drive East on the park’s eastern tip, connecting with the stretch of JFK from Kezar Drive to Transverse Drive. The route then continues onto Overlook Drive, then Middle Drive and  Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Ocean Beach, where it connects with the Great Highway, which has also been closed due to the pandemic, creating a continuous, family-friendly path from the Panhandle to the San Francisco Zoo.

More information on Golden Gate Park Slow Streets and how to access your favorite spot, attraction or museum can be found here.

What is happening in the Tenderloin and SoMa?

The Tenderloin Plan is part of a broader citywide effort that seeks to address and improve conditions in the neighborhood, with an initial focus on the 13 blocks in the Tenderloin that are most highly impacted. Implementation of the Plan will be iterative and informed by ongoing community input, with a goal of expanding to the other 36 blocks in the Tenderloin not specifically identified in the Plan.
Map of Tenderloin Street Treatments in Response to COVID-19
Map highlighting multi-agency and community efforts to repurpose streets space in the Tenderloin.

The Plan has eight main goals:

  • Address encampments by offering safe sleeping alternatives to unsheltered individuals.
  • Facilitate social distancing compliance by closing streets and parking.
  • Ensure that housed residents in the Tenderloin have safe passage and access to their homes and businesses.
  • Improve access to hygiene stations, restrooms and garbage disposal for unhoused individuals.
  • Address food and water insecurity for housed and unhoused residents alike.
  • Increase police presence in the neighborhood to focus on public safety concerns.
  • Increase health services in the neighborhood.
  • Increased education and outreach to residents and businesses through a ‘care ambassador’ program.

Can a commercial street be a Slow Street?

Slow Streets treatment is only appropriate for low-volume residential streets. However, the Shared Spaces program uses similar elements to create space for outdoor dining and street closures in commercial districts.