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NYC, San Francisco on Different Paths to Pedestrian Safety

Photos by Andrés Nieto Porras (left) and Christian Schd (right)

New York’s Vision Zero campaign turns one this month. In the year since Mayor Bill de Blasio held an inaugural press conference, officials have installed more than 40 safety cameras, drafted harsher penalties for drivers who fail to yield and reduced citywide speed limits to 25 mph.

But New York isn’t the only city celebrating an anniversary: San Francisco’s version of the same campaign also launched a year ago this month. Because eliminating traffic fatalities will only work through a series of cultural shifts (on top of policy and design changes), I spoke with advocates about the wildly different cultures that define each city, and how — or if — they’re beginning to see change.

In San Francisco, Vision Zero looks very different. After all, the West Coast city’s most famous song features light piano chords and Tony Bennett’s silky voice — all cable cars, morning fog and nostalgia. It’s certainly not about speed.

Still, as in New York, 2013 was a particularly deadly year for S.F. pedestrians, with 21 walkers and four cyclists killed. Following a rally in January, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) adopted a vision to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. (New York City’s target year is also 2024.)

Instead of targeting speed limits, however, the city set goals that fit its tech-hub status: data-driven design change. And according to Nicole Schneider, of pedestrian advocacy organization Walk SF, applying real numbers to San Francisco’s streets is creating a cultural shift in how — and for whom — safer infrastructure gets built.

Full article at Next City

Give Back to Vision Zero


We have a day for giving thanks. We have three days for getting deals – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. And, since 2012, we now have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.

It’s a simple idea. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — for 24 hours — people all … Read More

Celebrate Like a Walk Star at Woonerven 2014!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Walk San Francisco invites you party like a walk star at Woonerven, our annual member party!

Share some holiday cheer and celebrate all the wins Walk SF members made possible to make the city safer for you, your family, and your friends. Enjoy great conversation, drinks, tasty hors … Read More

Memorial and Call to Action Friday, November 7

A woman, jogging in Russian Hill, was struck and killed by a bus this morning (Thursday, November 6) — bringing the death toll to twenty-eight people who have lost their lives in traffic crashes on San Francisco’s most dangerous streets this year. Enough, is enough!

San Franciscans spoke … Read More

Walk SF Internships Available

If you’re looking to build your career through positive social and environmental impact, consider an internship with Walk SF, and help reclaim streets, as safe, shared spaces everyone can enjoy.

Not only will you help make a difference by learning about effective nonprofit advocacy, communication, and membership practices, your work will support Vision … Read More