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.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

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.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.