In celebration of Walk San Francisco’s 20th anniversary in 2018, we’re catching up with some of the people who have gone above and beyond in support of our mission.
We interviewed Manish Champsee, who spent time as Walk SF’s Board President before we had a single staff member, and Jean Doyle, who jumped into Walk SF events and volunteering.
What led you to get involved with Walk SF?
Manish: I got involved 16 years ago because I saw a lot of advocacy for public transit, biking, and cars but not as much for the mode of transportation that everyone uses — namely, walking.
Jean: I got involved in Walk San Francisco when I started dating Manish about 6 years ago. I love the mission! And the “I (Walk) SF” shirts are always a conversation starter.
What has been most meaningful to you about your involvement?
Manish: Seeing the amazing progress of the organization. I spent five years as Board President when the organization had no staff, and I could never have imagined that Walk SF would have grown to where it is today. I’m in awe of where it will go in the future.
Jean: The people I have met through Walk SF. It is wonderful to see people coming together to make a difference and follow their passions. Walk SF is a common connection point for friends from different parts of my life.
What Walk SF accomplishment are you most proud of?
Manish: 19th Avenue used to be the most dangerous street in San Francisco. In most years, 4-5 people died walking, and most cars parked half on the sidewalk, making for an unpleasant experience. Ten years ago, countdown signals were installed, a double-fine zone for speeding was implemented, and the police did daily enforcement of speeding for a long period of time. An edge line was painted along the road so that drivers knew where to park while staying off the sidewalk. Since that time, there have been 2-3 pedestrian fatalities over the past 10 years. Still far too many, but a huge improvement.
Jean: The countdown walk signals have made a difference in walking in San Francisco. When walking in other cities where they do not have the countdown signals, I have gotten stuck with the light turning yellow when I’m in the middle of the intersection.
What is your favorite walk in the city?
Manish & Jean: We have a 15-year-old hound dog. Our favorite walks are through Golden Gate Park where our dog can go at her own pace and enjoy the smells. We get to see the beauty of the park and how it changes every day as well as being surprised by new plant or wildlife sightings.
Favorite Walk SF event of the year?
Manish: I’ve walked the Peak2Peak (Walk SF’s one-of-a-kind 13-mile hike across 10 peaks), almost every year. I always love seeing new things that I never knew existed.
Jean: I enjoy catching up with friends and celebrating the holiday season at Woonerven.
Want to help power Walk San Francisco’s work like Manish and Jean do? Become a member today. With your support, we can win safer streets for all!