Best Unsung Hero San Francisco 2008 - David Alyea
Every year, San Francisco media outlets report the rate at which motorists kill local pedestrians and bicyclists. During the first half of 2007, deaths averaged three to four a month. Those who speak on behalf of pedestrians argue that San Francisco's streets are designed and maintained to maximize automobile movement at the expense of everyone else's safety. The intersection of Fell and Masonic is a standout example. Motorists from four-lane Fell regularly force themselves into the crosswalk, frequently terrifying and even striking nonmotorized residents. David Alyea, a Web designer who lives nearby, has taken matters into his own hands, attempting to save a few lives by becoming a volunteer crossing guard. Holding a homemade sign adorned with flashing lights, Alyea spends an hour or so, two or three evenings per week, standing in the way of motorists who would illegally enter the crosswalk before it clears.