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SF Examiner: SFPD Can't Control Speeders



Photo by Jamie Whitaker, 2007.

The April 16, 2007 headline on the front page of The Examiner is Police: Speeders are No. 1 reason for fatality spike. You can read the full article online.

I’ve written a letter or two to The Examiner along with our Supervisors and the Mayor about my concerns over pedestrian safety on the streets in Rincon Hill that lead up to the Bay Bridge. My letter was passed along to a SF MTA engineer. I’ll write a more detailed account of his response later, but suffice it to say that my recommendation of alternating the pedestrian walk signals with the vehicle traffic signals so that pedestrians should not enter the intersection when any vehicles have a green light and vice versa, vehicles should not enter the intersection when pedestrians have a signal that it is safe to cross, would result in traffic back-ups downtown.

I will contact this engineer, the Mayor, and the Supervisors again asking about setting up this alternating signal during non-business/rush hour time periods (6pm – 7am) and on weekends/holidays so that the delay occurs when there are few cars traveling those streets – and probably the most dangerous times of the week exactly because there is not much traffic around and drivers can shove the gas down in their hurry to get on the Bay Bridge.

Also, a Portside resident alerted me to a group called Walk San Francisco that advocates for pedestrian safety. You can learn more at www.walksf.org – I am looking forward to learning more about this group myself. There has also been quite a bit in the news lately about bicyclists and the danger they impose on pedestrians by riding instead of walking bicycles on the sidewalks. The Senior Action Network (SAN) has been one of the most active citizens’ groups in trying to address this pedestrian safety issue. You can read more about SAN’s efforts and how you can join them by visiting the SAN web site.

The Examiner article says:

The most dangerous district for pedestrians in 2006 was the Southern district, where 126 people were injured or killed.

“We’re seeing more of an increase in residents than before, and traffic heading to the bridge 24 hours a day,” Guinan said of the Northern and Southern districts. “What you’re seeing is a larger concentration of people in these two areas,” he said.

“What that says to me is that more attention needs to be placed in those areas. I don’t think having a bridge approach should be an excuse for high level of pedestrian death and injury,” said Manish Champsee, president of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco. “In the areas of high pedestrian death and injury, those are the areas where we should concentrate our resources to bring those deaths and injuries down.”

This is one of the reasons we need to have an official neighborhood association in the Rincon Hill and Transbay area. This is an issue that affects residents’ and workers’ quality of lives in this area. I hope that you’ll let others know about this issue and phone/email/write letters to the Supervisors and the Mayor along with the local media outlets until we see some action. Delaying traffic a bit is not a valid excuse to allow these dangerous conditions for pedestrians in Rincon Hill to continue. Human lives should not be worth less than delaying drivers for 20 seconds at an intersection.

One Response to SF Examiner: SFPD Can't Control Speeders

  1. […] Here’s a link to my posting last week on this issue after reading an article in the SF Examiner: SFPD Can’t Control Speeders. […]