Post by Walk San Francisco
Thousands Take to San Francisco’s Streets on Foot for Annual Walk to Work Day
To mark an event where San Franciscans choose the healthiest, most sustainable way to commute, Walk San Francisco is highlighting 40 projects breaking ground in 2016 that are making walking better and safer, in Walk SF’s first ever Walker’s Slate.
The dense layout of San Francisco’s streets and close proximity most residents have to transit, shops, parks, and jobs makes walking for short trips easy and viable. Yet despite holding the second highest “Walk Score” in the U.S., 50% of trips in San Francisco are still taken by car, and a quarter of those trips are less than a mile — a distance easily walked.
“To encourage people to make more trips on foot, it’s critical to redesign the city’s least walk-friendly streets — those with narrow sidewalks, dangerous intersections, and high-speed traffic — into safe, high-quality places that attract walking,” said Nicole Ferrara, Executive Director of Walk San Francisco. “Thanks to funding approved by voters in 2014, we have more dollars than ever to build these streets, but it takes more than just money to build great streets. The 40 projects in the 2016 Walker’s Slate illustrate that the most successful street improvements result from a combination of funding, strong community support, and political will to prioritize people’s safety and livability.”
“Achieving Vision Zero continues to be a priority for me and my district, and I’ve been proud to support strong projects like the Second Street Improvement Project that will transform streets in one of the main transit corridors in the downtown area,” said District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim. “I know firsthand that improving our streets can be challenging, but I also know that with persistent leadership and community engagement, we can achieve better streets and a safer community.”
“San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the nation, and we’re only getting better,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said. “This year, we’re breaking ground with our partners at San Francisco Public Works on three major streetscape projects that will make Polk Street, Second Street, and Masonic Avenue safer, more enjoyable corridors. At the same time, we’ll be making 13 miles of street safety improvements and installing hundreds of quick and effective engineering measures — like high-visibility crosswalks — at key locations to make walking safer and more attractive for everyone.”
Despite these great projects, the Walker’s Slate is not perfect. Both projects on the list and those that didn’t make the list have a lot to tell us about how San Francisco can deliver well-designed, safe, and walkable streets.
“With an alarming seven pedestrian traffic deaths so far in 2016, it’s the projects missing from this list and those on the list and still at risk of being compromised, that need to be highlighted,” remarked Ferrara. “Projects like the L-Taraval Project that will only happen once in a generation must include the strongest possible improvements to save lives for years to come. When a project is compromised, decision-makers are doubly responsible for failing to address the life-changing, or life-ending crashes that stronger projects could have prevented.”
“As a personal injury attorney, I work with victims of traffic crashes on a daily basis, each never having imagined their families would have to cope with the devastating impacts of a crash,” said Daniel Rose, owner of the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose and Walk to Work Day presenting sponsor. “The most troubling part is that these crashes are preventable — our City must do everything possible to design safe streets in the first place.”
Special thanks to 2016 Walk to Work Day sponsors: