News Briefs

Slow streets movement picks up speed

It started in Oakland — a move to close streets temporarily to vehicular traffic to allow pedestrians and cyclists more space to be physically distanced while getting exercise or shopping. San Francisco soon adopted it, and in mid-May the SFMTA announced that “phase two” of its Slow Streets program would expand to include:

▶ 20th Street (Valencia to Potrero)

▶ 23rd Avenue (Lake to Cabrillo)

▶ Chenery Street (Elk to Brompton)

▶ Excelsior Avenue (London to Prague)

▶ Golden Gate Avenue (Masonic to 


▶ Jarboe Avenue (Moultrie to Peralta)

▶ Lane Street (Third to Oakdale)

▶ Lombard Street (Jones to Stockton)

▶ Mariposa Street (Kansas to Texas)

▶ Sanchez Street (23rd to 30th) 

▶ Shotwell Street (14th to Cesar Chavez)

▶ Somerset Street (Silver to Woolsey)

▶ Stockton Street (Bay to Lombard) 

SFMTA said that many of the new closures were the result of more than 1,300 suggestions from city residents. They added 14 miles to the 9 miles that were implemented in the first phase of Slow Streets.

There have been suggestions from Northside residents that a Slow Streets initiative on Steiner Street from Lombard to Chestnut Street would greatly benefit restaurants. As more establishments reopen under local and state reopening guidelines, additional space will be needed to space out shoppers and diners, as well as pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists.

SFMTA reports that the Slow Streets that have been approved for inclusion are “lower-traffic residential streets that connect neighbors to essential services in the absence of Muni service. They have been vetted for feasibility and exclude Muni routes and major emergency traffic corridors. The identified streets are in neighborhoods that are especially affected by Muni service reductions, are designated bike routes that already serve as key connections, and lack conflicts with commercial streets or Muni routes.”

To learn more about the program and to suggest future additions to Slow Streets, visit

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