New 15 MPH School Zones Welcome Students on Walk to School Day

Mayor Ed Lee walks to school with students from Marshall Elementary in the Inner Mission. Photo: Marianne Szeto

Yesterday marked the first Walk to School Day since San Francisco began installing 15 mph speed limit signs near dozens of schools, and thousands of students were a little safer from speeding cars as they made their way to class.

“The new safer speed zones will calm traffic in neighborhoods throughout the city and help more people enjoy walking,” said Walk SF director Elizabeth Stampe, who joined students from Marshall Elementary in the Inner Mission on a “walking bus” along with Mayor Ed Lee, D6 Supervisor Jane Kim, Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg, and SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin.

Fourty-four schools around the city yesterday held Walk to School Day events involving over 7,000 students. According to the SF Department of Public Health, 56 percent of students at Marshall walk to school, and 70 percent live within one mile. School re-assignments this year allowed more students to attend schools in their neighborhood, close enough to walk or bike.

“Providing safer streets throughout San Francisco is a top priority for the SFMTA,” said Reiskin. “As we continue our work to install new speed-limit signs around schools like Marshall, we are collaborating with the Police Department to educate surrounding communities of the significant, but necessary change that will help keep our students safe.”

The SFMTA plans to install 15 mph signs at 213 K-12 schools by December 2013.

A Marshall Elementary parent speaks with Mayor Lee, Supervisor Kim, SFMTA Director Reiskin, and Rec and Parks' Ginsburg behind. Photo: Marianne Szeto