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First 20 mph speed limit sign goes up on Ocean Avenue corridor

Crews in San Francisco’s Ingleside neighborhood early Thursday morning installed the first 20 mph speed limit sign along the Ocean Avenue commercial corridor.

City officials say reduction from the previous 25 mph speed will help save lives. During the ceremonial sign installation at Ocean and Faxon avenues, Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who represents the Ingleside neighborhood, said:

“For us in this neighborhood it’s transformational because we really need to make the corridor safer.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was permitted to reduce the speed limit thanks in part to Assembly Bill 43, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), which gives cities more speed limit flexibility along commercial corridors where dining or retail make up at least 50 percent of storefronts. The new law became effective this year.

In December, SFMTA board directors approved speed limit reduction for seven corridors, including Ocean Avenue from Geneva Avenue to Victoria Street, and from Junipero Serra Boulevard to 19th Avenue.

Jeffrey Taliaferro, the owner of Ocean Cyclery, said he is excited to see The City address the speeding problem, but added:

“I don’t know how we’re going to enforce the 20 mile an hour zone but it is a step in the right direction.”

Melgar said she plans to meet with Capt. Eric Vintero of the Taraval police station to discuss enforcement of the new speed limit, though she acknowledged that the station is understaffed. She believes several weeks of enforcement will drive home the point that speeding in the area will not be tolerated.

Tom Maguire, director of the SFMTA’s Streets Division, said the agency expects to complete the Ocean Avenue sign installation  by the end of next week. For the next 30 days, anyone caught speeding in the reduced zone will receive a warning per state law, Maguire said.

Maguire said by this time next year, the SFMTA will have reduced the speed limit to 20 mph in 35 business corridors.

The SFMTA will hold a public hearing Friday morning to discuss reducing the speed limit on 11 additional corridors, including Ninth Avenue between Lincoln Way and Judah Street, and Irving Street between 15th and 27th avenues.

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