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How To Use Slow Streets Fact Sheet

SFMTA.com/GoSlow
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Slow Streets Program

What are Slow Streets?

Slow Streets are roadways where everyone is welcome, including people walking, biking, scooting, using wheelchairs and driving—and everyone travels slowly and safely. They are recognizable by distinctive purple Slow Streets signs and roadway markings, along with features like speed humps. Slow Streets should feel safe, comfortable, and welcoming for everyone. As the Slow Streets program evolves, the SFMTA team will continue to evaluate the Slow Streets and seek feedback for how to make them better. We look forward to your participation! Questions? Email SlowStreets@SFMTA.com.

How should Slow Streets be used?

Everyone is welcome on Slow Streets. Whether you are walking, rolling, riding a bicycle, or driving, please watch out for and be kind to your fellow Slow Street users!  

  • Move at safe, considerate speeds 
  • Make space for others – pedestrians must make room for vehicles to pass, and bikes and cars must give plenty of room when passing
  • Be kind and welcoming to others on the street 
  • For people walking:
    • DO make space for others while walking on a slow street—whether they’re biking, driving, or rolling—to safely pass. 
    • DO allow vehicles to pass in the roadway. While Slow Streets are shared roads, pedestrians must make room for cars under California law; vehicles have the right of way on streets.
    • DON’T be hostile towards other Slow Street users or make people feel unwelcome on the street.
  • For people riding bicycles or using a personal mobility device:
    • DO yield to pedestrians, children, and people with disabilities.
    • DO move at safe, considerate speeds. 
    • DO obey local posted signs, like STOP signs.
    • DON’T be hostile toward other Slow Street users or make people feel unwelcome on the street.
  • For people driving: 
    • DO drive slowly and carefully. 
    • DO give plenty of space when passing people using the street. 
    • DO acknowledge and make eye contact with other Slow Street users to demonstrate you see them.
    • DO keep driving on Slow Streets reserved for local trips. For example:
      • Driving to and from a home on a particular block
      • Accessing a business on a particular block
      • School drop-off or pick-up on a particular block
      • Making a local delivery or pickup
    • DO obey all traffic laws and signs, like speed limits and STOP signs.
    • DON’T be hostile toward other Slow Street users or make people feel unwelcome on the street.

How else can people enjoy their Slow Street?

The SFMTA is developing complementary programs, from block parties to street murals, to help communities celebrate their Slow Street. In the meantime, here are general guidelines to follow when activating or decorating a Slow Street:

  • Art or decorations must be kept out of active travel lanes. 
  • Activities on Slow Streets need to preserve the use of the street as an active travel roadway for all Slow Street users. What this means:
    • Seating or difficult-to-move objects should not be set in the roadway
    • No additional barriers should ever be added to intersections
  • For planned community events that require the full use of the road, and/or want to incorporate amplified sound, neighbors should obtain a permit through SFMTA Special Events 
  • Please be mindful of noise levels and the timing of planned community events