A few weeks ago, San Francisco followed in Oakland’s footsteps and launched a Slow Streets Program designed to give residents of the area extra space to physically distance themselves from others if they want to go outside their homes. As the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way of life for those in the city over the last few months, city leaders have gotten innovative ways to help residents exercise and stay safe. However, how long will they Slow Streets Program persist? Could this be a permanent change in the way traffic operates in some areas in the city?
Both Mayor London Breed and The City’s transit chief Jeffrey Tumlinhave said that they realize that more residents are walking and bicycling to their destinations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They also said that, while traffic congestion has lessened, it is still incredibly difficult for people to maintain social distancing on many sidewalks throughout the city. That is why San Francisco, following a similar move in Oakland, established the Slow Streets Program.*
San Francisco initially identified 12 streets where residents will now find it easier to walk and jog. They have cut off all traffic to these streets, except for local vehicles and residents who will have access to their driveways. Transit officials said the streets that they chose were picked because they have lower overall traffic volumes, and they also connect people to essential services.
Both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Walk San Francisco, longtime advocates of pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city, expressed their support for this program.
No city Official has yet said whether or not changes to these streets will be permanent. As the economy in California begins to reopen, officials may no longer see the need for “slow streets.” However, other places around the country that have implemented similar policies have determined that they will make the changes in their respective areas permanent.
As San Francisco has worked over the last few years towards fully implementing the Vision Zero initiative (the goal of zero traffic deaths within the city), this could be a way to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
As traffic levels do begin to increase once again, we encourage all drivers and pedestrians to be especially careful on the roadways. Many state departments of Transportation said that they have seen an increase in drivers speeding and operating while distracted by their cell phones during this ongoing pandemic.
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident caused by the negligence actions of another driver, contact an attorney today. At Allegiance Law, we are ready to conduct a thorough investigation into the crash so we can secure the compensation you deserve. This can include coverage of all medical bills related to the incident, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need to San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 415-404-6395