San Francisco is adopting a new policy of dropping the speed limit to 15 miles per hour within 500 feet of the city’s more than 200 public and private schools.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency crews will spend the next year installing approximately a thousand signs indicating the new speed limit. San Francisco is the first large California city to implement a 15 mph speed limit around schools.

Implementing the initiative will cost the city more than $360,000. Most of the funding will be coming from Proposition K sales tax funds and all the signs are expected to be in place by the start of the 2012 school year.

The pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco has pushing for the measure for some time. They have argued that reducing the speed limit will limit the number of serious and fatal injuries that occur involving pedestrians of bicyclists.

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Photo Credit: Bryan Goebel,