Can We Make Slow Streets Permanent?

Lunchtime Forum


Children riding their bikes in the street
Photo by Flickr user sfplanning

In 2020, as cities around the world began to cope with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many began to close select streets to through-traffic, effectively converting them to pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly promenades. Though these moves were often met with some controversy, especially surrounding the absence of community process behind the planning of the closures and their placement in traditionally underserved neighborhoods, the concept of “slow streets” rapidly caught on, with cities from California to New Zealand participating. However, with a return to normalcy on the horizon, many fear that these urban assets that they’ve come to love will also return to their pre-pandemic status. Do slow streets have a permanent future and, more importantly, how do we make them more equitable when doing so? Join us for a discussion about what it will take to align community willpower and municipal regulatory processes to make these streets perennial pieces of our communities.

Co-presented by APA Northern California. AICP CM credits are available.

+ Luke Spray / SF Parks Alliance
+ Shannon Hake / San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
+ Danny Harris / Transportation Alternatives
+ Jodie Medeiros / Walk SF


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