The idea was finally approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors during a Tuesday meeting, with residents calling in to support the motion to see cars off the popular SF street.
San Francisco’s network of car-free street corridors, all of which are organized by the City’s Slow Streets Program, were among the small silver linings — a turn of phrase I still cringe using, but it holds merit — to come out of the pandemic.
“Neighbors gathered around an electric piano at Page and Baker streets for sing-alongs. “ Devin Powell is the mastermind behind these street sings, with a core group of dedicated singers. 🎤 @SpokesFolksShow @fauvescraper @skatzhyman @PedalBorn 4/5 pic.twitter.com/yWm2nfVjqN
— Page Slow Street (@PageSlowStreet) December 4, 2022
As of publishing, there are sixteen corridors included in the SFMTA-maintained program; all of these pedestrian-friendly streets are only open to neighborhood traffic and can be traveled at speeds no more than 15mph; some of the corridors included in the program, which was initiated in 2020, have either since closed or were adopted into less restricted corridors that allow for increased local traffic and have new signage that isn’t as opposing to vehicular traffic.
Much like the now-permanent JFK Promenade, Page Slow Street has grown into a hyperlocal balm. It’s an accessible, miles-long invitation to experience San Francisco by way of foot, bike, scooter, or pair of rollerblades. However, its fate as a permanent pedestrian-friendly street has remained in limbo as San Francisco slowly recovers from the pandemic. But a step toward seeing the stretch of pavement given back to the people forever inched closer Tuesday after the SFMTA Board of Directors greenlit a measure that would see Slow Page Stree be adopted as a permanent car-free corridor.
I wrote to the MTA Board in advance of today's hearing to express my strong support for Page slow street. It's a crucial part of creating a safe streets network and has overwhelming community support. I appreciate all the support from neighbors, advocates, MTA staff, @PresEKil 🙏
— Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) January 18, 2023
“I wrote to the MTA Board in advance of [Tuesday’s] hearing to express my strong support for Page slow street,” District 5 Supervisor Dean Person tweeted ahead of yesterday’s SFMTA Board Meeting that took a vote on the proposal. “It’s a crucial part of creating a safe streets network and has overwhelming community support. I appreciate all the support from neighbors, advocates, MTA staff.”
During the hours-long meeting, countless calls came through in support of seeing Page Slow Street an enduring fixture; the majority of those who glowed in favor of the caf-free streeted noted its pedestrian accessibility to nearby businesses, Golden Gate Park, lower levels of noise in neighborhoods the street carves through, and the overall jovial, communal aspect of having cars (mostly) off this stretch of roadway.
When the meeting was officially adjourned, the proposal to solidify Page Slow Street’s existence — a decision that would create a marked traffic diversion at Devisadero Street — into the foreseeable future was approved.
Great news: The SFMTA Board approved Page as a permanent Slow Street and a full traffic diverter at Divisadero! 🎉❤️
Thanks to each of you who sent an email, called, and/or commented in person! 🙏🏻
The community and support behind Page Slow Street and Slow Streets is so amazing. https://t.co/UyZTVgI5ph
— Luke Bornheimer 👨👧 (@LukeBornheimer) January 18, 2023
Pedestrian safety and urban cycling advocate Luke Bornheimer was also elated to hear the “great news”: “The SFMTA Board approved Page as a permanent Slow Street and a full traffic diverter at Divisadero! Thanks to each of you who sent an email, called, and/or commented in person!”
“The community and support behind Page Slow Street and Slow Streets is so amazing,” Bornehierm writes. We, quite frankly, couldn’t nod our heads harder regarding that sentiment.
Feature Image: Courtesy of Twitter via [at]PageSlowStreet