San Francisco Tenderloin residents push for ‘Slow Streets’, safety

Throughout San Francisco, streets have been converted or are in the process of being converted to slow streets.

Neighborhoods including the Richmond and Sunset and Noe Valley have a Slow Streets program in place, now residents in the city's Tenderloin are asking why they don't have one.

San Francisco began implementing Slow Streets three months ago, creating walkable outdoor space for people to get exercise and maintain social distance.

Residents of the Tenderloin say they've watched them proliferate throughout the city, and told the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency they've been left out.

"I'd like to know why we don't have any Slow Streets in the TL," asked one woman. "It's very important for us! not only for seniors and disabled, but also for kids."

The Tenderloin and South of Market areas have among the city's densest population, and the highest number of pedestrian collisions.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney says he has been pushing for Slow Streets for weeks and has been told that implementing the program would be difficult there, so the city has put them last in line.

"You should see more work being done on safe streets and Slow Streets in the Tenderloin and South of Market than anywhere in the city. But, instead from SFMTA because it's hard, they've done less. 

The city is moving forward with phase 3 of Slow Streets, adding 17 more streets to the 16 now in place. The SFMTA says the Tenderloin is very much on their radar.

"Regarding the Tenderloin as shown in the yellow shading on this map the Tenderloin plan is part of the city's broader efforts to address public health crisis in San Francisco and we are coordinating closely with the team leading that effort," said Shannon Hake, Slow Streets manager for SFMTA. 

SFMTA says it has gotten requests for more than 350 Slow Streets in the city and will continue to consider options.

Sites in Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and The Mission are currently under review.