Speed Limit Awareness Campaign Targets Ocean Avenue Motorists

They waved signs, played instruments and shouted “slow down” to let motorists know the speed limit on Ocean Avenue is now 20 miles per hour.

Traffic safety activists
Krist Klein, left, with Lick-Wilmerding High School sophomores. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light
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They waved signs, played musical instruments and shouted “slow down” at speeding vehicles.

A group of 14 volunteers and two organizers stood on opposite corners of the Ocean and Granada intersection on March 9 to make motorists know that 20 miles per hour is the new speed limit on Ingleside’s stretch of Ocean Avenue.

The Ocean Avenue Association, a nonprofit authorized by the city to maintain and improve the corridor, recruited a dozen sophomores from Lick-Wilmerding High School’s Public Purpose Program and put out a call for volunteers for the awareness-raising rally.

Ocean Avenue is one of a number of streets where the speed limit was reduced to improve safety earlier this year. Urban design expert Tom Radulovich told The Ingleside Light that engineering is the best way to improve safety. Lowering the speed limit alone will have a limited effect.

“The 20 miles an hour signs are not going to be put out for two or three months on the avenue. And we're here to try to make people aware,” OAA Executive Director Pierre Smit said.

The Ocean-Granada intersection is one of the few in the area without traffic lights.

“I crossed the street now several times and you almost get killed every time — and I'm a person who could run if I need to,” Krista Klein, who directs the college counseling program at LWHS, said.

One volunteer questioned the efficacy of the awareness campaign.

“I feel like it's important, but I wonder if there's a more effective way to do it,” LWHS student Caitlin Kane said.

Petitions for traffic safety demands on Ocean Avenue were collected to give to District Seven Supervisor Melgar. Smit said he had already submitted 111 petitions.

Smit said a stop sign was needed for the Ocean-Plymouth intersection.

“Some people were saying install a flashing light activated by a button but we need, really, to have a stop sign,” Smit said. “There’s a lot of work to be done here and at the intersection of Brighton."

In 2018, District 7 Participatory Budgeting funded the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to install a flashing pedestrian beacon at the crosswalk of Granada and Ocean avenues.

In 2020, District 7 Participatory Budgeting also funded artistic crosswalks and landscaping for pedestrian safety there.

The SFMTA did not provide comment by press time about the status the intersection improvement projects.

“I think safety is always the number one priority,” Ric Lee, a retired stationary engineer for Kaiser Permanente, said. “We saved them a ticket today. Once those signs are up, SFPD does have a right to give them moving violation citations.”

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