Walk SF in the New York Times – Fund Safe Walking

Posted Wednesday July 06, 2011 by admin

UPDATE: Protect pedestrian funding in the transportation bill — call or email Senator Barbara Boxer and urge her not to cut funds for safe walking! You can call Senator Boxer at (415) 403-0100 or (202) 224-3553.

Did you see the front-page story in the New York Times on Monday, June 27, titled “Across Europe, Irking Drivers Is Urban Policy“? Last Friday, the Times printed Walk SF’s letter correcting the article’s claim that Market Street is “pedestrianized” (not yet!) and calling for pedestrian funding in the new federal transportation bill.

To the Editor:
San Francisco is a delight to walk in, but even here, cars rule the roads. Market Street has not yet been “pedestrianized,” and many people are hit every year on the wide, dangerous streets that cross our city’s main boulevard. We’ve ceded our public space to the private vehicle, and we’re all paying the price.

An American is struck by a car every seven minutes. What a waste. Redesigning streets would be a lot cheaper and kinder than what we’re doing now: paying emergency-room costs for tragedies that could have been prevented.

As the Zurich official in your article said about other cities’ policies, “I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car.”

Here in America, the new federal transportation bill should finance “complete streets” where everyone can walk safely and with dignity. Aren’t we worth that much?

ELIZABETH STAMPE
Exec. Dir., Walk San Francisco
San Francisco, June 27, 2011