Wednesday, January 15, 2014

S.F. Calls on Mayor Ed Lee to Do Something About These Pedestrian Accidents -- Now

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 2:58 PM

click to enlarge Pedestrians, cyclists, and buggies learn to cope ... somehow, circa 1906
  • Pedestrians, cyclists, and buggies learn to cope ... somehow, circa 1906

If you're a pedestrian in San Francisco, then you probably have either been hit by a car, know someone who has been hit by a car, or are afraid you will be hit by a car later today.

You see the problem here?

This is why community groups and politicians are teaming up, calling on the mayor, the cops, and the director of transportation in San Francisco to put an end to all the pedestrian accidents that have, as of late, been out of control.

As we reported earlier this week, 167 pedestrians were hit by cars or bikes between Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 12, 2014. Those injuries ranged from very minor to fatal, Sgt. Eric O'Neal told us.

Yesterday, a trio of San Francisco supervisors rolled out an ambitious plan to completely eliminate pedestrian deaths in 10 years. The plan, dubbed "Vision Zero," includes the following goals:

  • Get a "Strategic Street Action Team" to deliver on 24-plus traffic improvements within the next two years at high-injury locations, particularly in SOMA and the Tenderloin. That means more lighting at intersections, safer crosswalks, and protected bikeways;

  • Force San Francisco cops to aggressively enforce traffic laws, such as yielding to pedestrians, at the most dangerous locations. In addition, ticket the hell out of bad drivers and make sure police are trained in bike and pedestrian laws;

  • Set aside money for a driver education program for commercial drivers, including taxis and rideshare companies;

"San Francisco has had the most dangerous streets in the state for too long," Nicole Schneider, executive director of Walk SF, said in a statement this afternoon. "After 21 pedestrian deaths in 2013, four cyclists deaths, and over a half a dozen crashes since New Year's Eve, the City must not delay."

Tomorrow at 5 p.m., frustrated and worried pedestrians will descend on City Hall to ask Police Chief Greg Suhr for his commitment to end pedestrian deaths -- now. There, the Police Commission and Board of Supervisors' Neighborhood Services & Safety Committee will host a special hearing geared toward police investigations of bike and pedestrian-related accidents.

"The City has been experiencing this public health crisis for years, and last year we hit a near-record high for traffic fatalities," Supervisor Jane Kim said in a statement. "A Vision Zero policy that commits to clear and decisive near-term actions for better engineering, enforcement and education to cut traffic fatalities to zero in the next 10 years is critical if we're serious about saving lives."

No word on whether Mayor Ed Lee supports the plan.


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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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