Han Cheng Li, 62, Killed by Driver at 16th and Potrero

Sixteenth Street at Potrero Avenue. Image: Google Maps

Han Cheng Li, 62, was struck and killed by a driver on 16th Street at Potrero Avenue in the Mission at about 11:38 p.m. Saturday night, according to reports. Police have not released details about how the crash occurred or the name of the driver, but he has been identified as a 54-year-old man. Li is the 12th pedestrian to be killed in traffic in San Francisco this year.

Nicole Schneider, executive director of Walk SF, pointed out that between 2005 and 2010, five pedestrians were injured at 16th and Potrero, about one per year. “We are deeply sorry for Han Cheng Li’s family and friends,” she said. “While we still don’t know how the collision occurred, each of these deaths are preventable.”

Sixteenth and Potrero both have four traffic lanes and few measures in place to tame driving speeds. Although a plan to redesign a section of Potrero is in the works, it would only encompass the stretch south of 17th Street. On 16th Street, the Muni Transit Effectiveness Project calls for two traffic lanes to be converted to center-running bus lanes — which could have the added benefit of calming motor traffic — but that project is several years away from implementation.

“We know that a pedestrian hit by a car traveling 40 mph has a 30 percent chance of surviving, but by reducing speed to 30 mph, that chance of survival goes up to 80 percent,” said Schneider. “The city has the tools needed to calm traffic on our streets, and we want to see those tools implemented before any additional families have to suffer the loss of a loved one.”

  • A. D. Leonardini

    🙁 I literally fear for my life anytime I cross 16th around there. The drivers seem to be exceptionally bad.

  • Josh Handel

    All roads in the city accessible by people should have a 20mph speed limit. London has been talking about it for a long time, lets beat them to it!

  • I walk through that intersection pretty often, and it’s definitely hairy. Potrero Avenue was restriped in the semi-recent past (3 car lanes in each direction -> 2 car lanes and 1 bike lane in each direction, + left-turn pockets), to some improvement. However, it’s still definitely rough. Among other issues, westbound 16th gets jammed up by left-turners (who never signal until the light turns green), and eastbound 16th has a mid-intersection merge that confuses people.

  • Anonymous

    What a shame. Condolences to yet another family who lost a loved one because our city leaders refuse to kick the ridiculously anachronistic car addiction. If there’s anything good that comes out of this, I hope it inspires our reactive and non-progressive city leadership to make changes like they did to Folsom after Amelie Le Moullac’s unnecessary death. Come on SF: where’s the will power to actually step up and delivery on our supposed “transit/pedestrian/cyclist first” city?

  • Easy

    Another month, another death on our streets. When will our city leaders step up and realize keeping car traffic going a few miles per hour faster is not worth the cost in lives? Larger sidewalks, curb-separated bikeways, and one fewer car lane would make for a much shorter to cross, slower moving street that’s safe for everyone.

  • NoeValleyJim

    Let me guess, SFPD did not cite the driver, will not look for any evidence from local surveillance cameras, will not interview any witnesses and the DA will refuse to press charges, citing a lack of evidence.

  • Anonymous

    You’re missing a few other facts: this was obviously a tragic accident that in no way could have been prevented, and you should think about the suffering the driver must be going through at this very moment. Also, that cyclist probably wasn’t wearing a helmet, probably runs red lights and stop signs all the time, and he should have known better than to be on the road with vehicles that way thousands of pounds and have hundreds of horsepower. Also, [insert here a vapid antidote about how some cyclist cut me off once].

    So we should all act like the rest of this city and its government and just ignore yet another cyclist/pedestrian death at the hands of a motorist.

  • Ryan Brady

    Troof, but in this case it was a pedestrian.

  • Ryan Brady

    Agreed, but useless without enforcement.

    I generally don’t like the idea of speed cams, but I think with prominent signage on entering the city, and uniform enforcement it’d be alright.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right. I got a little carried away. But that means that this is an appropriate time to remind all pedestrians that they should pay more attention since streets are for cars, not people. In fact, I’m sure our city leaders will use this incident to remind pedestrians to stop walking while distracted. Motorists, however, please carry on per usual; please don’t think of changing a thing. By the way, I’m comforted to know that cops are out on the Wiggle doing something about the real scourge on our city: cyclists. What with such limited resources, I’m really glad to see they are getting to the root cause of the death and destruction on our streets.

  • mikesonn

    Check the Examiner article about ped crashes being up. SFPD goes right into warning peds to be more careful.

  • To be fair, the SFGate peanut gallery often confuses its pedestrian-blaming (homeless and on drugs, the lot of them) with cyclist-blaming.

  • Angela Wilson Youngdale

    He was not a cyclist but a very loved And wonderful co-worker that just got off work from Safeway. He was simply standing on the side walk waiting for his bus. Please don’t guess at what u think may happen and offend his friends and family!!!

  • Angela Wilson Youngdale

    Appropriate time to say, “hey I’m on the side walk and please don’t run me down?” You are so out of line and compassion that I can’t imagine u having someone you have ever cared about?

  • Anonymous

    @angelawilsonyoungdale:disqus I’m being sarcastic because I’m so sick of this happening and nothing being done that I don’t know what else to say or do anymore. It’s just so damn frustrating to see pedestrians and cyclists killed and absolutely nothing changes. This whole incident is horrible and I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Angela Wilson Youngdale

    Thank you for that post. My very good friend who is a brilliant SFPD officer informed me that all necessary action has been taken and I am very great ful for the work that they do!!


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