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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.

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."

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