San Francisco Working to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities
The city's mayor, Edwin M. Lee, announced capital improvement projects, an educational campaign, and enforcement are all included in the campaign. An average of 100 pedestrians are severely injured or die in collisions on the city's streets annually.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Police Department recently unveiled a multifaceted campaign that takes aim at the high number of pedestrian fatalities occurring in the city. An awareness campaign is rolling out citywide that urges drivers to slow down and they and walkers alike to pay more attention to their surroundings.
Pedestrians account for half of all San Francisco traffic deaths: 100 people are severely injured or killed in traffic collisions annually there, according to the mayor’s office. "Any pedestrian death or serious injury is one too many," Lee said. "As we focus and invest in pedestrian safety improvement projects identified through the WalkFirst initiative to reduce serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities, we better prepare for the future as our city grows. San Francisco remains one of the most walkable cities in the world, and we all have a shared responsibility to protect and care for pedestrians. By looking out for each other and by driving more slowly and carefully, we can make a big difference in improving safety for people walking in San Francisco."
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Planning Department, Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, and the Controller's Office worked with the mayor to create WalkFirst, described as a first-of-its-kind initiative in the United States to improve pedestrian safety in the city. "Tasked with creating a strategic framework to identify and deliver pedestrian projects and programs in San Francisco, WalkFirst has combined public engagement with technical and statistical analysis of where and why pedestrian collisions occur on our city streets, and updated knowledge about the effectiveness and costs of various engineering measures proven to reduce pedestrian collisions. As a result, WalkFirst has now provided the City with a roadmap of urgently needed pedestrian safety projects and programs over the next five years and the toolbox of measures that can be leveraged to reduce serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities," according to Lee's office. If voters approve, the city will leverage $17 million to improve pedestrian safety at 170 high-priority locations identified by WalkFirst during the next five years.
"People should not be dying in the streets as they merely try to make their way around our great city," said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. "We will be investing in high-impact, low-cost pedestrian improvement projects at key locations of concern in San Francisco, but the overall need is much greater. We will need voter support for the funding measures proposed by the mayor for the November 2014 ballot to implement WalkFirst, which will allow us to build a safer and more walkable San Francisco."