Speed limits lowered near schools in San Francisco

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A new set of slower speed limits near San Francisco schools were celebrated Thursday by Mayor Ed Lee and pedestrian safety advocates.

Long-sought after by groups such as Walk SF, the new restrictions will lower speed limits to 15 mph on streets within 500 feet of San Francisco schools. The initiative will take effect in over 200 different San Francisco schools, both public and private, and will include 1,000 new traffic signs. Overall, the new changes will cost $361,700, which is covered by local transportation funds.

The reduced speed limits were made possible by recently-passed state legislation that allows local jurisdictions to impose 15 mph zones near schools.

Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF, a local pedestrian advocacy organization, said the new speed limits would “help create a more safe and sustainable city.”

Lowering speed limits can be crucial to helping pedestrians survive traffic accidents. According to Walk SF, studies show that pedestrians are six-times more likely to die if they’re struck by a cars travelling at 30 mph, instead of 20 mph or less.

Lee, Stampe, and other local officials touted the new speed limits at a conference Thursday morning at George Peabody Elementary School in the Richmond District.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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