One Hundred 15 MPH School Zones Approved at SFMTA Hearing

Kids cross Monterey Boulevard on Walk to School Day last year. Flickr photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/adriennejohnson/5057644750/sizes/z/in/set-72157625108426484/##Adrienne Johnson##

Roughly half of the more than 200 schools proposed to have speed limits reduced to 15 MPH on surrounding streets were quickly approved at an SFMTA hearing today. The rest are expected to be approved at another hearing in three weeks before heading to the full SFMTA Board of Directors for final approval.

“We think this is an excellent way to make areas all over our city safer for kids, for seniors, and for everyone who has to walk around to meet their daily needs,” said Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe.

SFMTA Associate Engineer Maurice Growney said up to one hundred 15 mph school zones could be in place by the end of the year, and all 211 implemented by the end of 2012. Staff will aim to distribute the zones evenly around the city as they go in, he said. Funding for the program was approved by the SF County Transportation Authority on Tuesday.

“It’s a step in the right direction towards creating a better city where people have the options [to walk and bike to school] and feel safe and comfortable doing so,” said Neal Patel of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The approved zones are expected to go before the SFMTA Board of Directors at a meeting later this month.

  • Hooray! 

  • Adrienne

    As happy as I am for all of these schools, I am the one that took that picture that was used above and my school, Sunnyside Elementery, is not any one of those schools that got a reduced speed zone. I have been to the MTA and begged for the speed reduction that others are getting and this leaves me a little cold. Sunnyside, Monterey Blvd and the surrounding areas seem to be slotted to be nothing more than traffic sewer. 1500 cars an hour pass this and other schools in the area every day. I wonder if anyone will ever see us as anything other than a high speed pass through? Will we ever be anything other than a speed dump for cars and trucks? Despite my and other’s efforts, it would seem that the answer is “no”.

    Oh well. Back to the war.

  • Alex

    Okay, maybe I’ve missed the point… but why is everyone so excited about this?  Other than the warm fuzzy feeling of being anti-car and new signs, what do we get out of these 15mph zones?

    Do we get average speed cameras to effectively penalize speeding drivers?

    Do we get actual SFPD officers doing actual traffic duty?  It’s not like having officers on the street doing traffic duty would help with bicycles and motor vehicles not yielding to pedestrians (alighting from LRVs or otherwise) as well as combat speeding drivers.  It’s also not like SFPD is actually busy enforcing speed limits anywhere else inside city limits.

    Do we get traffic calming measures?  People tend to move as fast a speed the feel is safe.  Take a look at Lake Merced Blvd or the GG Bridge.  Has traffic slowed down at all since their lower speed limits were enacted?  Maybe instead of a large number of bullshit signs (why does this remind me of those do nothing yellow stickers that Camen Chu was using as a feather in her pedestrian safety / MUNI reform cap?) the SFCTA should fund some speed humps, traffic circles, pedestrian scrambles, four way stops, median greening, or some other generally accepted traffic calming measure.

    Will any of the faded crosswalks get repainted?

    WIll we see more curb cuts for disabled access?

    Maybe some crosswalk lights like they have on Sunset?

    Do 15mph zones carry with them stiffer penalties so that the few, the proud, the ticketed bicycle and motor vehicle operators will perhaps get the message?

    Well, kudos then on more signs that pedestrians, drivers, and of course people on bicycles will ignore in no time.  Setting an arbitrary limit means squat if there’s nothing to back it up.  As far as I can tell 25mph isn’t entirely unreasonable for an area around a school, if it’s actually being enforced.  *golf clap*

  • Adrienne, I hear the we are going to get 15mph speed limits on the streets by the school but that, since the school is not on Monterey Blvd they won’t extend there.

    The next speed survey is slated for next year. That is when we can get a new speed limit on Monterey if we can get the 80th percentile down. The average speed according to an old speed survey is 38mph. 

    Its maddening, I know. Especially when Folsom and Masonic can get lower speed limits and we can’t. 

  • Bob Davis

    From the days of Burma Shave signs:
    When in school zones
     heed instructions
    Protect our little
     tax deductions.

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