The following is a response to the C.W. Nevius authored column “S.F. a dangerous city for careless pedestrians”
I read with interest your column today entitled “SF a dangerous city for careless pedestrians”. First one of the things that I always like to say is “Everyone is a pedestrian, even if all of the walking you do is to and from your car.” The point is that everyone is a pedestrian and many people drive or take transit or ride a bike. Few people get around exclusively by walking, but everyone does walk as part of their means of getting around. Its a question of care and courtesy no matter which mode of transportation you happen to be engaging in.
Having said that, in the SFMTA report that you cited in your column ( http://www.sfmta.com/cms/rtraffic/documents/Collision_report_2007.pdf ) if you look on page 5, in table 3 it notes that “Violations by the Pedestrian” was cited as the cause for 8% of all collisions in 2007. Now to be fair, the report notes that 26% of all injury collisions involve a pedestrian. However, this still means that less than 1/3 of all collisions involving a pedestrian are the fault of the pedestrian with the other 2/3 the fault of the driver.
I do appreciate your advocacy for traffic calming. In addition to naked streets, London is also experimenting with turning off traffic lights ( http://tr.im/BU50 ). While “roundabouts” might not work in much of San Francisco, there is a smaller version of these known as “traffic circles” that are appropriate for neighborhood streets. Berkeley and Seattle have used traffic circles with great success, Seattle seeing many intersections go to 0 crashes. We attempted these in 2004 on Page St., however, they were a failure because the circles weren’t large enough as per best practices in other cities.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
Walk San Francisco