S.F. Drivers -The Entitled Motorists who will never be satisfied.

Lee Heidhues 11.21.2022

I thought that after the smashing victory of Proposition J which made permanent JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park and the total smackdown of the Dede Wilsey Proposition I which would have returned cars full time to The Great Walkway that San Francisco City Hall would get the message.

The message being that San Franciscans want more Slow Streets and car free areas.

Obviously the bureaucrats in City Hall, led by opportunistic Mayor London Breed, have yet to receive the message.

Most distressing is the absence of Lake Street from Arguello to 25th Avenue. This has been one of the most scenic and widely used Slow Streets. Regrettably, the well heeled residents of this area have howled non stop that their hegemony over the road has been eliminated. Money talks and the City Hall bureaucrats have shamefully listened.

People walk and cycle along Lake Street during a community parade in support of the Slow Street in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco this past April.Stephen Lam, photographer / The Chronicle

The latest proposal by the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority (SFMTA) would severely cut back the number of Slow Streets, put in place by Mayoral decree at the beginning of the Pandemic in April 2020.

The SFMTA, as its reason for dialing back the program makes the eye rolling comment, “Others (Slow Streets) did not meet the needs of the community.”

I ask, Who is the so called “community?” Answer: The Entitled Motorists who will never be satisfied.

Those seeking a better, translation, Car Free environment in San Francisco will once again have to go to the proverbial barricades.

In the effort to have full disclosure, I am happy for a couple of reasons. Two of the Slow Streets which are planned to be permanent are in my neighborhood. In addition, the street on which I grew up is also one of the those on the permanent list.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 11.21.2022

San Francisco is primed to permanently keep roughly half of the Slow Streets that were implemented at the start of the pandemic by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency.


Slow Streets

— Cabrillo Street   — 23rd Avenue   — Clay Street   — Golden Gate Avenue   — Lyon Street   — Noe Street   — 12th Avenue   — Shotwell Street   — 22nd Street   10 — Minnesota Street   11 — Sanchez Street   12 — Hearst Avenue   13 — Arlington Street   14 — Somerset Street   15 — Cayuga Avenue   16 — Page Street neighborway  
Map: Sriharsha Devulapalli / The Chronicle  Source: SFMTA

“Slow Streets were a citywide experiment, and not all of these experiments were successful,” the SFMTA wrote in an explanatory document. “Some Slow Streets weren’t well utilized or developed conflicts with neighborhood access. Some Slow Streets didn’t connect to the overall citywide active transportation network. Others did not meet the needs of the community.”

The proposed network of Slow Streets, meant to deter car traffic on residential streets, would remove all but one of the Slow Street segments in the Sunset District, as well as all the Slow Streets in South of Market.

Liz Heidhues cycling on Slow Street Lake

The SFMTA’s proposal, unveiled Monday, does not give a recommendation on Slow Lake Street — among the first four Slow Streets the agency’s board voted to keep permanent in August 2021. The fate of that particular Slow Street has divided its residents, and the Board of Directors will make a final call on whether to include it in the Slow Streets network.

The city installed 31 Slow Streets at the start of the pandemic as a way to give residents more space to recreate while social distancing. Some of the most popular Slow Streets have given pedestrians and cyclists more freedom to exercise and travel on their roadways with minimal worry about facing oncoming car traffic. Others have been utilized more sparingly, one of the reasons the transportation agency cited for the Slow Streets that failed to make the final cut.


Slow Street Cabrillo. One of the proposed to be made permanent Slow Streets