Resolution passes in San Francisco to lower speed limit citywide

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Tuesday night at San Francisco City Hall, a resolution passed to lower the speed limit on city streets.

"If you are hit by a vehicle traveling 20 miles per hour, you have a 90 percent chance of surviving. But, if that vehicle is going 40MPH, which I think to most people doesn't even sound that fast, you have a 20 percent chance of survival," said Marta Lindsey, with Walk San Francisco, a non-profit dedicated to pedestrian safety.

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The Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee approved a resolution, to set maximum speed limits at 20 miles per hour - citywide.

Lindsey spoke at the meeting: "this is absolutely the direction we need to be going in the city - is reducing speeds."

Jonathan Winston is on the PSAC committee and proposed the resolution.

Kate Larsen: "How do you know the community wants to lower the speed limit?

Jonathan Winston: "Because they contact us about it."

"Pedestrian deaths and bicycle deaths and people in cars, the deaths are totally avoidable when you slow down," explained Winston.

An SFPD traffic inspector was also at meeting and said there have been 26 traffic fatalities so far this year, which is higher than last year.

Sixteen of those deaths have been pedestrians-- including the man killed over the summer in the Tenderloin, when the driver of a Tesla blew through a red light at a very high rate of speed.

"20 feet through the air and landed on my side and sustained traumatic brain injuries," said John Lowell

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Almost 20 years ago, Lowell was jogging when a speeding car hit him in the Mission District. He is now permanently disabled.

Lowell thinks San Francisco needs more signage and other physical reminders to slow down. "Speed was a factor in the severity of the injuries I sustained."

The PSAC resolution will go to the Board of Supervisors, who will take it into consideration.

Speed limits are set by statewide laws. So, the PSAC resolution will go to the Board of Supervisors, who will take it into consideration. The resolution does not mean the speed limits in San Francisco will change immediately.

Also at play, is Vision Zero SF, the City's new road safety policy that aims to get to zero fatalities by 2024.

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