Plan to enforce 15 mph speed limit near schools could be in place by September

A plan to implement a 15 mph speed limit near all schools in San Francisco, an initiative backed by pedestrian safety advocates, could be in place by September.

Under a state law passed in 2007, local municipalities can enforce a 15 mph speed limit on streets within 500 feet of a school. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages traffic in The City, recently worked with former Mayor Gavin Newsom on a directive that highlighted the school zone speed limits as a key initiative to improving walking conditions in San Francisco.

About 200 school zones are eligible for the new speed limits, according to the SFMTA. Implementing the new speed limits at the schools would cost $361,700. Although the SFMTA has set aside just $40,000 for the plan, it has made a funding request to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which handles The City’s transportation tax dollars, for the remaining $321,700.

If the SFCTA approves the funding allocation — it will make a decision next month — the SFMTA will be able to begin work on the new speed limits in September, with the project scheduled for full completion by winter 2012.

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