Beginning this week, San Francisco is banishing cars on major streets to enforce social distancing. The city's municipal transportation agency announced the slow streets program today. It will close twelve major roads near downtown.
"The most important thing people can do is remain home, but when you must go out this will help allow for physical distancing," Mayor London Breed tweeted.
What will the program look like?
It's similar to one in nearby Oakland. San Francisco's new program will shut down a dozen streets all around the city to reduce traffic.
The goal is to make it easier for bikers and pedestrians to maintain six feet of social distancing on sidewalks, paths, and bikeways.
Slow Streets is meant to reduce traffic speeds "and create a safe network for essential walk and bike travel while transit service levels are reduced," said San Francisco transportation authorities.
Streets will not be closed entirely and local vehicle access is still allowed in other areas. There will not be any changes to parking or driveway access for local residents.
Officials noted that changes will begin this week and they hope to install two to three slow corridors per week.
The following streets will close during the shutdown:
Slow Streets is one of the city's many methods to reduce sidewalk crowding and enforce safety precautions during COVID-19.
Its other methods include removing vehicle parking outside grocery stores to create queuing space and widening sidewalks by removing car parking in areas of notably high pedestrian traffic.
These new safety efforts come after Mayor London Breed's order for residents and essential workers to wear face masks outside of their homes.
The law went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 17. Violators in the city will face fines or imprisonment beginning April 22 at 8 a.m. So, residents have until then to make or purchase required face coverings.