Earlier this year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) began lowering speed limits across seven corridors in San Francisco as part of state legislation that granted cities more control over speed limits.
Assembly Bill 43, authored by Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) took effect on January 1st and allows local jurisdictions to set speed limits in business districts and corridors where at least half of the street is for dining and retail use. At the start of 2022 the SFMTA lowered the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on seven corridors:
- 24th Street from Diamond to Chattanooga streets and from Valencia Street to San Bruno Avenue
- Fillmore Street from Chestnut to Union streets and from Jackson to McAllister streets
- Haight Street from Stanyan Street to Central Avenue and from Webster to Steiner streets
- Polk Street from Filbert to Sutter streets
- Ocean Avenue from Geneva Avenue to Victoria Street and from Junipero Serra Boulevard to 19th Avenue
- San Bruno Avenue from Silver to Paul avenues
- Valencia Street from Cesar Chavez to Market Street
SFMTA Director of Director Jeffrey Tumlin said in a statement that speed is the leading cause of serious and fatal traffic crashes in The City.
Lowering the speed limit is essential to meeting The City’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic-related fatalities by 2024. Last year, data from The City showed 27 people who died last year in traffic crashes. Of those, 13 were pedestrians.
The SFMTA has been developing speed management plans using the new law, traffic signal retiming, traffic calming measures, and road diets to curb excessive speeds throughout The City.
The second phase reduced speeds from 25mph to 20 mph across a dozen commercial corridors:
- Divisadero Street between Pine Street and O’Farrell Street
- Balboa Street between 3rd Avenue and 7th Avenue
- Stockton Street between Market Street and Bush Street
- Noriega Street between 19th Avenue and 27th Avenue
- Noriega Street between 30th Avenue and 33rd Avenue
- Market Street between Castro Street and Octavia Street
- West Portal Avenue between 15th Avenue and Ulloa Street
- Castro Street between Market Street and 19th Street
- Mission Street between Cortland Street and 14th Street
- Third Street between Williams Avenue and Evans Avenue
- Geneva Avenue between Gloria Court and Paris Street
A second provision of AB 43 goes into effect in June 2024, and will allow cities to lower speed limits by 5 mph along “safety corridors.” This provision requires the state’s Department of Transportation to define safety corridor criteria.
Until then, slow down and enjoy the ride!