letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: SF’s Future Cannot Return to Car-Centric Design



I want to thank Jack Quach for highlighting the critical issue of Traffic-Restricted and Slow streets. Oftentimes this debate is under the false dichotomy of increased traffic congestion versus safer and more vibrant community spaces. However, it’s possible to have both.

SFMTA’s February 2022 Slow Street Report emphasised that The Lake Slow Street has not negatively impacted neighboring streets in regards to traffic operations, traffic safety, or congestion. This is consistent with their December 2021 report which largely supports the same conclusion. Ultimately, Traffic-Restricted and Slow streets incentivize people to use alternative forms of transportation leaving room on the road for those who need them.

Car centric city design has been detrimental to the environment, people’s health, safety, and community well being. The high cost of car ownership disadvantages low income individuals that must drive to work because there is no other viable option. And with transportation innovations like e-bikes, there are healthier, cheaper, faster, and more environmentally friendly alternatives to get around in the city. SF’s future cannot return to car centric design through the reopening of JFK Drive, the Upper Great Highway, and Slow streets to automobiles. San Francisco must reimagine mobility.

Audrey Liu

1 reply »

  1. Her belief that slow streets encourage non car use flies in the face of the SFMTA’s own data on modes of transportation. Comparing 2019 to 2021 their survey showed that despite slow streets, GH closure, etc personal vehicle use went UP 13%, bike use increased by only 1%, walking by 2%, public transit declined by 11%. What gets people out of cars? Not slow streets but improving public transportation. All the efforts to encourage bicycling has born very little fruit, in 2021 only 3% use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. https://www.sfmta.com/blog/how-people-traveled-through-san-francisco-2021-0


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