Safety measures completed on Geary the day after first pedestrian death of 2015 

San Francisco announced the completion of zebra-striped crosswalks across 33 intersection of Geary Boulevard on Thursday, but it was a bittersweet celebration the day after the first pedestrian death of the year occurred on the thoroughfare.

Striped crosswalks are part of the engineering-oriented solutions in The City’s Vision Zero program to eliminate pedestrian deaths by 2024.

Speed limits along Fulton Street, which crosses Geary in the Western Addition, were also reduced from 35 mph to 30.

But the death of 87-year-old Alfred Yee, who was struck by a van at Geary Boulevard and 26th Avenue, where the zebra stripes had just been painted, illustrated the need for such safety measures, said Supervisor Eric Mar, who represents the area.

“I’m angry, I’m seething inside,” Mar said of Yee’s death. “How long will it take for us to get more rapid action with Vision Zero?”

He added that The City had known about the dangers of Geary Boulevard and Fulton Street for many years.

“These aren’t accidents,” Mar said, “they’re killings.”

Mayor Ed Lee said The City was moving swiftly to make safety changes, but “some of the streets take a long time.”

Lee, Mar and Ed Reiskin, director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, each took a turn pushing a heat-spewing paint machine to complete the last striped crosswalk along Geary Boulevard and Emerson Street on Thursday.

Perhaps, Mar said, it was too late.

About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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