Speed Camera Installation Plans Shared At Community Meeting

The transportation agency plans to install six speed cameras days after a crash killed three people in West Portal.

Community members gathered at tables for a meeting.
Representatives from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency shared plans for installing six speed cameras at the New Mission Terrace Improvement Association Meeting on Monday. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency shared at a community meeting Monday its plans for deploying speed cameras across the neighborhood as part of a citywide rollout.

SFMTA Transportation Planner Shannon Hake presented the potential camera locations and process to the New Mission Terrace Improvement Association’s regular meeting at Ingleside Police Station. SFMTA’s plan was released on March 14 as part of the five-year pilot program allowed by the passage of Assembly Bill 645. Six cities, including San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, will use automated speed cameras to capture images of rear license plates of vehicles that go over the speed limit to penalize motorists in a bid to improve safety.

“We are anticipating that speed safety cameras are an important part of an overall what can be done on a street but not the only thing,” Hake said. “We believe that they're going to be most effective with engineering changes as well that change the roadway layout or change how fast you can drive on a street.”

San Francisco will be allotted 33 cameras to be placed around the city. The number is determined by the city’s population. The SFMTA plans to place the cameras in corridors on the high-injury networks, streets where collisions happen the most frequently. Installations are expected to start in the summer.

Six speed cameras are proposed for Ingleside and nearby neighborhoods: Ocean Avenue from Friday Kahlo Way to Howth Street, San Jose Avenue from Santa Ynez Avenue to Ocean Avenue, Alemany Boulevard from Farragut Avenue to Naglee Avenue, Mission Street from Ottawa Avenue to Allison Street, Geneva Avenue from Prague Street to Brookdale Avenue and Monterey Boulevard from Edna Street to Congo Street.

“I think the ones that we ended up recommending are the ones that are definitely the strongest because I think this is an opportunity for us to change policy not only in San Francisco but in California,” Hake said.

Pedestrian and road safety is on NMTIA members’ minds following recent pedestrian fatalities by motor vehicles at the Alemany Boulevard and Rousseau Street intersection in February and the March 16 crash that killed three people beside West Portal Station on Saturday.

NMTIA recently welcomed a new traffic light at Alemany Boulevard and Theresa Street with other neighbors and District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí on Feb. 24.

“That’s why the speed cameras, more than anything, are so important to pedestrian and people’s lives because every five to ten miles [per hour] you go up, the probability of death goes up dramatically,” Safaí said.

Several attendees asked about the cost of this project and how it would work for those caught speeding. Hake said it would be funded through the transportation agency’s operating budget to get a camera vendor and any revenue that is earned will initially go toward covering program costs with any additional income going towards traffic calming improvements.

Offenders would be charged a penalty at a cost of $50 to $500 depending on how many mph over the speed limit they drive. Violations would also be issued as civil penalties and treated more like tollbooth charges with the ticket going to the individual on the vehicle's registration.

Sam Thomas, who lives on San Jose Avenue, said a speed camera on Alemany Boulevard is “super important.”

“Alemany is super dangerous,” Thomas said. “We just had a neighbor who died on Cotter. It’s terrible. Alemany is a whole different beast.”

The speed camera proposal will go to the SFMTA Board of Directors in April and then on to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June.

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