Walk SF Urges Mayor to Prioritize Safety
Advocates want all high-injury streets treated immediately
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Walk San Francisco Executive Director Jodie Medeiros has written an open letter to San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed urging her to prioritize Vision Zero measures on city streets.
From the letter:
In January, you stood with us at City Hall as a Vision Zero leader. Together, we celebrated San Francisco’s progress toward eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2024, with 2017 having the lowest-ever number of traffic fatalities recorded in San Francisco history. Yet in just the past month we have seen the tragic and preventable deaths of Kevin Manning and Dmitry Scotkin.
Both Kevin and Dmitry were hit on streets designated as high-injury corridors, where the vast majority of crashes occur in our city. The City’s Vision Zero policy and efforts are meant to fix these known dangerous streets. But the pace and investment needed to transform our streets into truly safe, welcoming spaces for people of all ages and abilities is simply inadequate.
Medeiros goes on to outline five major goals for San Francisco, including keeping the Better Market Street project on track and pushing SFMTA to immediately install flexible, near-term safety improvements on 100 percent of the Vision Zero high-injury network.
She also asks Breed to take inspiration from Mayor Sadiq Khan’s effort to eliminate traffic deaths and make London, England the most walkable city in the world, by, in part, reducing speed limits in the central city to 20 mph. Could San Francisco, under Mayor Breed, follow Khan’s example and push to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph?
Streetsblog has reached out to Breed’s incoming communications deputy, and her old staffers as an SF supervisor, to find out if she will commit to any or all of Medeiros’s goals, and we will update this post accordingly. However, this is part of what she had to say in a pre-election Medium Post:
Our streets should be inviting and safe so anyone can feel comfortable choosing to ride a bike, walk, or take transit, and so it is clear which space is for which mode of travel. I will accelerate the construction of protected bike lanes throughout San Francisco and expand our bike network. I will fund street repaving to continue improving our street conditions (the Pavement Condition Index), and coordinate repaving with Vision Zero and complete streets improvements. And I will be vigilant with our departments and contractors to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.
Meanwhile, Jason Henderson, professor at San Francisco State, writer of the book Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco, co-author of Low Car(Bon) Communities: Inspiring Car-Free and Car-Lite Urban Futures, and a Streetsblog contributor, thinks Mayor Breed can also make streets safer and more walkable by leveraging her pro-housing stance. He told Streetsblog she should expedite “affordable car-free housing at city-owned sites like ‘Parcel K’ in Hayes Valley and the MacDonalds in the Haight.”
“These can be developed as walkable, cycle-friendly housing adjacent to transit,” he added, “reducing displacement so working class people aren’t forced into long commutes by car to jobs in the city…. she has a lot of control over these and other city-owned sites.”