San Francisco rolling out plan to improve pedestrian safety 

click to enlarge See the San Francisco pedestrian safety goals below the article. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • See the San Francisco pedestrian safety goals below the article.

As San Francisco celebrates the nation’s first Walk to Work Day today, Mayor Ed Lee will unveil a strategy that aims to cut in half the serious injuries and deaths of
pedestrians by 2021.

The San Francisco Pedestrian Strategy will focus on 44 miles of roadway that are the most dangerous for walkers by having city agencies approach pedestrian safety, including infrastructure upgrades and enforcement, in a holistic way, said Gillian Gillett, the Mayor’s Office director of transportation policy.

The strategy came after many city agencies — including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Police, Public Health and Public Works departments — held meetings at which they shared information and statistics.

“This is a new, systematic approach for the streets,” Gillett said of the strategy.

She said while The City will continue to address pedestrian issues that arise in neighborhoods, the focus of police enforcement and infrastructure upgrades will be on the bustling corridors where the most injuries and fatalities occur.

The strategy calls for such initiatives as adding crossing time for pedestrians at intersections, reopening crosswalks, upgrading curb ramps and adding countdown timers at hundreds of intersections. The strategy also includes targeting speeders and red-light runners, along with those who fail to yield to pedestrians.

Elizabeth Stampe of the advocacy group Walk SF said the strategy will help San Francisco lead the nation in pedestrian safety. She said the plan is “targeting the streets that feel like freeways.”

Stampe pointed out that there already have been seven pedestrian fatalities this year. That includes a woman who was killed Wednesday night while crossing the street near City College of San Francisco.

Ed Reiskin, transportation director for the transit agency, said the document lays out a clear strategy that is data-driven and articulates clear goals. He said the collaborative approach allows city departments to allocate scarce resources in the most efficient manner.

“This strategy,” Reiskin said of the data collection, “we should be doing more of it.”

The strategy started with a directive by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2010 that called on The City to reduce severe and fatal pedestrian accidents by 50 percent and to increase walking. After Lee took office, he convened a task force to come up with the recommendations.

Better streets


  • Reduce serious and fatal pedestrian injuries by 25 percent by 2016 and 50 percent by 2021
  • Reduce serious pedestrian injury inequities among neighborhoods
  • Increase walking and reduce car trips of less than 1 mile by 25 percent by 2021
  • Provide high-quality walking environments

Source: San Francisco Pedestrian Strategy

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