D7 Supervisor Norman Yee’s First Order of Business: Pedestrian Safety

District 7’s new supervisor, Norman Yee, took the earliest opportunity to call for a hearing on pedestrian safety in the neighborhoods he represents, which include West Portal, Parkside, St. Francis Wood, Forest Hill, Ingleside Terrace, Sunnyside, and Park Merced.

Supervisor Norman Yee. Photo: ##http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/12/yee-ready-bring-independent-attitude-san-francisco-board-supervisors##SF Examiner##

Pedestrian safety is “an issue that is very personal to me and I care deeply about, and that I’ve heard from many, many residents in District 7 are deeply concerned about,” Yee said at his first regular meeting on the Board of Supervisors yesterday.

Yee called on staff from the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, the Department of Public Works, and Department of Public Health to report on District 7’s pedestrian crashes, most dangerous intersections, and the status of safety projects that are in the works to reduce injuries.

In media appearances during the recent election season, Yee regularly named pedestrian safety as a top priority. As he noted to the SF Bay Guardian, he’s been injured by a driver himself. Yee’s campaign website has a page devoted to pedestrian safety that names “several areas that are real danger zones for pedestrians including 19th Avenue, Portola Drive, Sunset Boulevard, and Lake Merced Boulevard.”

Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe said she “applauds Yee’s leadership on this.”

“We look forward to working with him to make streets safer for people in District 7 and throughout the city,” she said. “Residents in Supervisor Yee’s district, especially parents, have been demanding better walking conditions for a long time. There are several dangerous corridors in D7 — from 19th Avenue to Ocean to Monterey — and it’s time for the city to get serious about fixing them.”

Yee, a Chinatown native known for his tenure as president of the School Board and director of a children’s services non-profit, has lived in District 7 for 25 years. His emphasis on pedestrian safety is a departure from his predecessor, Sean Elsbernd, who represented the district for eight years and wasn’t known to regularly devote attention to the issue.

“I look forward to a constructive dialogue over the upcoming months,” said Yee, “and I will be working closely with community members and city staff to monitor this important issue.”

  • Sharon

    Provide a safe refuge for pedestrians crossing Monterey at Circular. Currently the “median” is about one foot wide. I’ve seen elderly people be unable to cross four lanes on the green light and there is no where to go. The cars fly off the freeway at high speed. This is a scary and dangerous situation for people walking from their neighborhood to take BART. 
    Currently the car is king a this intersection. I hope no one has to die before this situation is addressed.

  • Anonymous
  • Monterey & Circular is a mess – thank the freeway on/off-ramp for that. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much that can be done given Caltrans has a big say in how freeways interface with the street grid.

    There’s one possibility I can think of: if we don’t need the double turn lane on Monterey, some of that space could be used for a refuge island. The ramp to San Jose Ave is only one lane now, so I don’t see any more justification for a second turn lane.

  • Sharon

    I have a hard time believing nothing can be done. Look at al the progress for pedestrians on Army Street. 
    I’d welcome guidance on where to start.

  • I thikn the best place to start is to have “an acceptance that things change”, and I think it starts by looking into a mirror.

  • Oh something can be done, we just need to look at the whole Monterey Blvd!

    Friends of Monterey Boulevard continue to work tirelessly on that one (you may already know about them). Some improvements may come through the Safeway remodel, but we need to advocate more if we want something significantly better.

  • Anonymous

    There need to be midblock crosswalks on Beale, Fremont and First Streets.  There are many midblock restaurants that pedestrians jaywalk to from highrises located directly across the street.  Those streets are also due for a traffic diet.  The demolition of the former Heald office bldg at Fremont and Mission has reduced Fremont Street by one lane, but there has been no appreciable slow down of traffic.  Having wide lanes with no parking allowed encourages drivers coming from or going to the Bay Bridge to race up and down those streets.