San Francisco promotes safety through traffic-calming measures

The Mission District of San Francisco will be more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists thanks to reforms that calm the flow of traffic. 

Officials say Home Zone projects like this refocus areas to address concerns of walkability and prevent speeding. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) used speed humps, narrowed roadways and raised crosswalks to make a Home Zone, in which traffic-calming measures are implemented to make pedestrians and bicyclists the first priority. 

“This project originated as an effort to increase safety at nearby Marshall Elementary School. The school was ranked high for a project to increase safety due to the high number of kids and families walking and biking to school,” SFMTA spokesman Ben Jose said. “Working with the community, the SFMTA expanded the scope of this project to be the Home Zone project on the street today.”

A six-block neighborhood in the Mission District has seen motor vehicle speeds decrease by 6 miles per hour on average since becoming the first Home Zone in San Francisco. Residents in the neighborhood also report an increased feeling of safety as they walk through the redeveloped area.

As of August’s “Vision Zero” report, there were 19 traffic deaths in San Francisco during 2015, the same number that occurred by that point in 2014. SFMTA wants that number to be zero by 2024, and Home Zones are an important tool to accomplish this goal.

“In San Francisco, just 12 percent of city streets account for more than 70 percent of our traffic crashes. We are working to fix this by focusing on improving safety on these streets, which we call the High Injury Network,” Jose said. “All this is in support of Vision Zero, the city’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities.”

Additional Home Zones are possible future projects to achieve the city’s goal, based on need and available funding. In the meantime, residents can contact SFMTA to request traffic-calming measures like those used in the Home Zone project.

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San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

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