Man Killed by Muni Bus Driver at Closed Crosswalk Outside Geary Tunnel

Image: CBS 5

A man was hit and killed by a Muni bus driver on Geary Boulevard at Lyon Street on Monday at 1:15 a.m., according to media reports. Both crosswalks across Geary are closed at that intersection, just east of the Masonic tunnel, leaving a roughly 1,000-foot gap between crosswalks at Presidio Avenue and at Baker Street.

The man, who hasn’t been identified, is the 12th pedestrian to be killed on San Francisco streets this year.

“His death is all the more tragic, given the crash occurred on Geary — long identified as one of the six percent of streets which make up the city’s high-injury corridors and account for over 60 percent of crashes involving pedestrians,” said Natalie Burdick of Walk SF.

As we wrote last week, closed crosswalks remain even in SF’s most walkable neighborhoods, vestiges of 20th-century planning efforts to whisk cars down traffic sewers like the Geary expressway.

At intersections like Geary and Lyon, people are entirely banned from crossing Geary and instead are expected to spend five minutes (at standard walking speeds) walking to a different intersection and back. The extra 1,000 feet pose an impractical proposition for many people, particularly when traffic volumes are low — too often resulting in fatal outcomes for those who instead attempt the most direct path.

There are currently no plans to re-configure the intersection, or to close the Masonic tunnel and bring Geary back to grade. The tunnel also prevented center-running transit lanes from being built east of the Richmond District as part of the Geary Bus Rapid Transit project.

“The city made a laudable commitment to Vision Zero,” an end to traffic deaths, said Burdick. “However, this latest loss of life is a painful reminder of how far the city currently remains from implementing the engineering solutions critical to reducing the number of serious and fatal injuries, which continue to plague the city.”

Geary at Lyon, looking towards the Masonic tunnel, where the nearest crosswalks are nearly 500 feet away. Image: Google Maps

The nearest crosswalks, at Presidio and Baker, are about 1,000 feet apart. Image: Google Maps