➤ “Vision of zero pedestrian deaths,” The City, Wednesday
Police enforcement needed
Could someone explain to me how the goal of zero pedestrian traffic deaths, but not for 10 years, makes sense? And how does $2.9 million in federal funds improve safety in San Francisco if expenditures are limited to only two streets (Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street), especially if work doesn’t begin there until 2017?
Pedestrians are dying now. Vision Zero’s goal and Mayor Ed Lee’s proposals so far are practically irrelevant to the real-time issue. Education just doesn’t seem to help much.
How about less ticketing enforcement of our parked cars, and instead putting the ticketing agents at the busy intersections? How about reducing the size of those humongous Google buses that block our views when walking or driving? How about aggressive enforcement of fines — yes, include pedestrians, too — with a visible, constant presence of uniforms of both public police and our local Patrol Special police?
Cyclists kill people, too
Supervisor Jane Kim passionately states, “Cars are weapons ... it is the driver who can kill, not the pedestrian or the cyclist.”
Really, Jane? You mean to say that your three-person staff didn’t vet this information? I recall two pedestrians who were killed by cyclists in The City in the past few years; where have you been?
Gordon D. Robertson
Target red-light runners
If pedestrian safety is a priority, then the laws must be enforced.
Problem intersections should be targeted. The intersection of Columbus Avenue, Stockton Street and Green Street is rampant with red-light runners. Even crossing while the walk sign is lit, you have to be careful not to be hit by a car. Why not increase the fine for running a red light?
Blame car advertising
If you really want to change how people drive, you’ll need to change automobile advertising.
Each year, the automobile industry invests $16 billion to $18 billion in advertising that painstakingly avoids the realities of automobile ownership and operation in favor of fantasies in which cars fly down roadways uncluttered with other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and red lights.
If gun makers were to produce equivalent advertising that portrayed reckless fantasies of gun usage, the American people would be outraged. Cars kill more people each year than guns, but automobile advertising is given a free pass to portray the world beyond the windshield as an annoying impediment to enjoyable driving.
Riley B. VanDyke
Left turns are right choice
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Board of Supervisors seem to believe prohibiting left turns will improve pedestrian safety. I think the opposite is true. Cars turning left have a full view of the intersection and ample opportunity to stop. Cars making right turns are usually looking left while they make turns.
Both the SFMTA and supervisors have recently approved bus rapid transit on Van Ness Avenue, which will eliminate all but one left turn, forcing thousands of vehicles daily to make several right turns. It will undoubtedly create added danger for pedestrians.