The deadly stretch of Sixth Street between Market and Howard Streets in the South of Market District may get some long-overdue pedestrian safety fixes. The SF Municipal Transportation Agency kicked off the first of several community planning meetings on Tuesday for a project that could add pedestrian bulb-outs, marked crosswalks, and other measures that could make for a more livable street.
Sixth Street, designed to speed drivers between the Tenderloin and the 280 highway through a dense SoMa neighborhood, has an alarming rate of traffic violence. According to data from the Department of Public Health, 93 pedestrians were injured by drivers between 2005 and 2010, including five people who were killed.
“Right now, the design of Sixth Street prioritizes fast car travel to the freeway instead of the safety and comfort of the people who live and work here,” said Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe. “It’s time for that to change.”
On a recent walking tour of the neighborhood organized by the SF Planning and Urban Research Association, D6 Supervisor Jane Kim noted that her district, which sees nearly 30 percent of the city’s pedestrian crashes, “has the most collisions in the entire city.”
“San Francisco has one of the worst vehicle-pedestrian collision rates in the country,” she said. “It’s the worst in the state of California, worse than New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and a lot of major cities. We have some work to do.”