Walk to Work Day and a Renewed Commitment to Safety
Supervisors and advocates extol virtues of walking and vow to continue push for safe streets
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“We have to stop looking at safety as a zero-sum game,” District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney told Streetsblog during this morning’s Walk to Work Day. Haney was one of some 30 people who walked from Battery and Market to City Hall. “When you make streets safer for bikes, it’s safer for walkers, when you make streets safer for walkers, it’s safer for drivers… we’re out here talking about walking, but making it safer for walking will also save lives of people in cars. We’re all in this together,” he added.
Haney was one of several politicos who joined walks from around the city to the steps of City Hall, where advocates, Mayor London Breed, and other officials renewed pledges to fight for safe streets. “San Francisco can be and should be the most walkable city in the U.S.,” said Walk San Francisco’s Jodie Medeiros. “Yet three people are hit every day and six pedestrians and one person riding a bike has already died this year–we are ready for things to change.”
“We need vehicles to slow down,” said Mayor Breed. She stressed that safe streets require a combination of safe infrastructure, enforcement, and lower speeds. “We have to continue to remember all the lives we have lost because we didn’t act fast enough.”
Supervisor Norman Yee, who was himself a victim of road violence, called on Sacramento to pass Automated Speed Enforcement legislation. “We want A-S-E!” he exclaimed. Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer spoke about how seniors are especially vulnerable in collisions. “We’ve had two fatalities in my district this year… both seniors,” she said, adding that anyone can become a victim of traffic violence.
“Public Works is proud to be part of Walk to Work Day,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “Not only is it a lot of fun, great exercise and promotes environmental sustainability, the event helps raise awareness of the City’s Better Market Street project, which aims to provide transformative safety, transit and streetscape improvements to our busiest corridor.”
Jenny Yu is a member of Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, which is made up of survivors and families whose loved ones were killed or injured in crashes. “I am looking to all of you–especially our city leaders–to do everything in your power to end traffic violence on our streets,” she told the crowd at the rally.
“This simple act–walking–is powerful,” said Medeiros. “Walking makes us healthier, and brings life to our streets and sidewalks. Walking protects our air and climate. Walking connects us with each other, and to our communities. That’s why we are celebrating walking–and everyone who walks.”
This was the seventh Walk to Work celebration. Walk SF, meanwhile, marked the organization’s 20th anniversary in November of last year.