Ingleside Passed Over In Third Phase of City Hall’s Slow Streets Program

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency added 14 more corridors to its Slow Streets program in July. Image courtesy of the SFMTA

INGLESIDE, San Francisco — At its July 21 meeting, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors approved the third phase of Slow Streets, a program that has transformed 34 miles of roadway into car-free space for recreation and physically distanced travel during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Fourteen additional streets were added to the program, yet not one was located in Ingleside, despite the agency’s stated goal of setting up one.

“It’s disappointing to see Ingleside, once again, brushed under the rug when it comes to basic city services,” Ingleside Merchants Association Chair and Ocean Ale House co-owner Miles Escobedo told The Ingleside Light. “It seems that between safety and foot traffic, the Ocean Avenue commercial corridor could really benefit from a nearby adjoining Slow Street.”

Rolled out in April, the SFMTA intended the Slow Streets program to focus on “lower-traffic residential streets that connect neighbors to essential services in the absence of Muni service,” according to the SFMTA website.

Flat with stop sign-controlled intersections, SFMTA originally proposed Ingleside’s stretch of Holloway Avenue between Beverly Street and Harold Avenue. The San Francisco Fire Department vetoed the plan because Station 15 often uses the route. Emails obtained by a neighborhood advocate show that Ingleside Terraces Homes Association leadership vehemently opposed the proposal, too.

“While we had to remove Holloway from the program due to emergency access concerns, we are actively seeking another street in the neighborhood to replace it,” SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato told The Ingleside Light in May.

A swath of Ingleside has been identified as a Community of Concern by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, meaning its diverse population is disadvantaged and vulnerable.

“Cars are speeding through our neighborhood faster than ever,” Shahin Saneinejad, a member of the Ocean Avenue Association’s Street Life Committee, told The Ingleside Light. “Nobody living in Ingleside would call Ocean Avenue a safe street for pedestrians and bikes. I’m disappointed that the Fire Department shut down our slow street on Holloway. We need all city departments to pitch in to fix bike routes and Slow Streets, instead of shutting them down and shutting us indoors.”

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CORRECTION: Shahin Saneinejad is a member of the Ocean Avenue Association Street Life Committee, not the chair.