traffic.transit.jpgDrivers in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood will have to slow down a little bit after city officials announced Thursday that speed limits are being reduced on four major streets in the area.

The speed limits on parts of Howard, Folsom, Harrison and Bryant streets had previously been 30 mph, but have been lowered to 25 mph in an effort to improve safety in the neighborhood.

“The injuries and deaths that continue to impact our South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods are absolutely preventable if drivers slow down,” said Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the neighborhood.

“Calming traffic on the city’s wide, fast, freeway-like streets is a priority for Walk SF,” the group’s director, Elizabeth Stampe, said in a statement. “Every day, more people are living, working and walking in SoMa, and safer speeds here will be better for everyone.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which made the change, studied vehicle speeds and volume on the streets, as well as other factors including bike lanes and the number of residential or commercial units in the area, before determining the new speed limit.

The agency also added 13 additional speed limit signs along the four streets to enhance awareness of the new limit, which goes into effect immediately.

The reductions are on Howard Street from The Embarcadero to South Van Ness Avenue, Folsom and Howard streets from The Embarcadero to 13th Street, and Bryant Street from The Embarcadero to 11th Street.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • Jackson West

    I don’t see the speed limit changing the walkability of the neighborhood in any significant way. There’s no buffer between the wide lanes of traffic and the narrow sidewalk except more cars.

    I’ve heard of a push for more mid-block pedestrian crossings, but without strict enforcement of both the new speed limit and pedestrain right-of-way I wonder if it wouldn’t just turn into another 19th Avenue or Geary in terms of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

  • Jackson West

    I don’t see the speed limit changing the walkability of the neighborhood in any significant way. There’s no buffer between the wide lanes of traffic and the narrow sidewalk except more cars.

    I’ve heard of a push for more mid-block pedestrian crossings, but without strict enforcement of both the new speed limit and pedestrain right-of-way I wonder if it wouldn’t just turn into another 19th Avenue or Geary in terms of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.