SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco supervisors are looking at ways to make the streets safer, even exploring the idea of lower speed limits in the city.
A new report by the Budget Analyst’s Office found that speeding is a problem for many motorists driving in San Francisco. In areas that have a posted 25 mile per hour speed limit, the report found the average speed of drivers was actually 27-33 mph. Despite this, San Francisco police handed out less than two dozen speeding tickets on average per day in 2014.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar said the new report shows the merits of lowering the speed limit. “Reducing speed limits could clearly save lives and reduce serious injuries,” he said. “It’s been done in London and New York City and San Francisco is way behind the curve.”
The report looked at the results other cities have had when reducing speed limits. It found that in the case of London and New York City, there was a corresponding reduction in the number of collisions.
Supervisor Mar said even reducing speed limits by 5 mph could have a huge impact on making the streets of San Francisco safer. He said lowering speed limits to 20 mph should be part of San Francisco’s Vision Zero campaign, which has a goal of eliminating pedestrian and bicycle fatalities by 2024.
“I think we need to fold in speed limit reductions as one strategy besides the education, engineering, and enforcement ideas that have been coming up,” Mar said.
The big issue for city officials? Lowering speed limits to 20 mph would require a change in state law, as speed limits are largely governed on a state level, rather than by local municipalities.