Weekend Roundup: HSR Alignment, Tenderloin Calls for Safety, Walk SF’s Call to Action
3:13 PM PDT on September 20, 2019
A few Streetsblog short takes to start your weekend.
HSR Authority Picks Route into San Francisco:
The California High Speed Rail Authority Board picked the staff-recommended alignments from Merced to San Jose and San Jose to San Francisco. From the Authority's release:
In the San Jose to Merced project section, the Board identified Alternative 4 as the Preferred Alternative. Alternative 4 utilizes a blended configuration between San Jose and Gilroy in the existing Caltrain and Union Pacific Railroad corridors before continuing to a dedicated high-speed rail alignment through Pacheco Pass.
In the San Francisco to San Jose project section, the Board identified Alternative A as the Preferred Alternative. Alternative A utilizes a blended configuration between San Francisco and San Jose within the existing Caltrain corridor. This alternative includes a light maintenance facility on the east side of the tracks in Brisbane and does not include additional passing tracks.
That means there will be no significant property takes on the Peninsula to build additional passing tracks, a move that would have invited more lawsuits and delays to the project. It also means the Authority will build a light maintenance facility on the east side of the tracks in Brisbane. Streetsblog got into more detail about what this means for travel times and frequencies in a previous post.
"This is a positive first step to realizing a true Valley to Valley connection, and ensuring that the community voice is heard," said Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), as quoted in the release.
Tenderloin Community Pleads with City to Stop the Traffic Violence
Earlier this month, a 12-year-old boy was crossing a Tenderloin street, in the crosswalk, when he was run down and put in the hospital by an apparently intoxicated motorist. The Tenderloin community has logged more victims of traffic violence than any other community, and they're fed up. The Tenderloin Community Benefit District's Simon Bertrang penned the following statement, demanding the community's streets be converted into two-way, neighborhood streets that are safe for residents. From his Medium post:
We need to reckon with the way in which the perception of the Tenderloin encourages reckless and illegal behavior by motorists. The neighborhood’s role as a containment zone produces a general disregard for the people here. Whether motorists are speeding through our streets on the way to the freeway or because they are driving in to buy pain pills, that perception produces the kind of recklessness and negligence that kills and injures people.
This has to stop now. To support these transformations, we need to ask the Mayor, the Chief and the new Commander in charge of traffic safety to blitz the Tenderloin with enforcement that focuses on the most dangerous behavior in which motorists engage: speeding, violating pedestrian right-of-way, running red lights, and failing to yield while turning.
Bertrang is also asking for the public to volunteer as "Corner Captains," to help guide people across the streets.
Walk San Francisco Highlights this Year's Grim Pedestrian Stats
New data shows severe traffic injuries are up, and critical injuries for people walking are on the rise, according to a release from Walk San Francisco, based on new data from San Francisco Department of Public Health. From Walk SF's release:
In total, there were 592 people severely injured in traffic crashes in 2018. This is up from 574 in 2017 (see chart). With the City’s Vision Zero commitment to end severe and fatal traffic crashes by 2024, it is deeply troubling to see this number going in the wrong direction.
"Even more alarming, people walking made up an even larger percentage of injuries designated as 'critical,' and these numbers are on the rise," continues the organization's statement.
As a result of these unfortunate numbers, Walk SF is putting out the following call to action:
We know you’re with us. So what’s next?
- Getting every Supervisor signed onto the resolution introduced by Supervisor Haney to declare a state of emergency for traffic safety. The next stop for this resolution is the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on September 27. Please contact your Supervisor if you haven’t yet!
- Winning passage of the Better Market Street legislation in October, which includes removing private vehicles from from Steuart Street near the Ferry Building to Octavia Boulevard this year. What an incredible step this would be toward people-first streets! Ask city leaders to support #CarsOffMarket now!
Be sure to click on the links and support Walk SF's push for safe streets and a Better Market Street.
More from Streetsblog San Francisco
Driver Who Killed Ethan Boyes Indicted
The system will, occasionally, prosecute the most egregious cases of traffic violence. But the fundamental failings that got Boyes killed remain.