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How our new board members want to transform San Francisco’s streets

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Five fabulous folks just joined Walk San Francisco’s board of directors: Scott Blanks with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Peter Gallotta with San Francisco Department of Environment; Megan Gee with Arup; Lila Hussain with San Francisco’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure; and Jessica Lum with the San Francisco Travel Association.

We wanted readers like you to get to learn more about them so we asked these passionate pedestrian advocates a few questions. Check out their answers below; responses have been edited for length.

Walk SF: If you had a magic wand, what’s the first thing you would do to make it safer for everyone who walks in San Francisco?

Scott Blanks: I would educate the masses about the breadth of disability which exists the world over, which results in people interacting with streets, transit systems, and cities in different ways.

Peter Gallotta: Every intersection in San Francisco would have pedestrian countdown signals, freshly painted white crosswalk striping, curb cuts, bulb-outs, and daylighting to calm speeds.

Megan Gee: I would remove as many on- and off-ramps as I could from San Francisco city streets!

Lila Hussain: I would develop a series of pedestrian-, bike-, and transit-only streets.

Jessica Lum: I would install pedestrian scrambles in all high-foot traffic areas so pedestrians can safely cross busy intersections without the pressure and fear of turning vehicles.

Walk SF: Why did you join the Walk San Francisco board of directors?

Scott Blanks: I’m passionately aligned with the mission of Walk SF, and I feel an opportunity is at hand to steer conversations in the direction of disability consideration, something very much in short supply in the city.

Peter Gallotta: I want to support the dedicated work of the Walk SF staff and to make sure every San Franciscan knows that Walk SF is fighting for them every single day.

Megan Gee: I believe in Walk SF, and want greater pedestrian safety and amenities throughout San Francisco.

Lila Hussain: I am especially interested in transforming streets in high collision areas and low-income neighborhoods.

Jessica Lum: I joined to be a part of creating shared spaces that are for people, not just personal vehicles.

Walk SF: What’s your favorite part of the city to walk around?

Scott Blanks: I love walking everywhere in the city, but most often find myself around mid-Market and the Mission. Both of these neighborhoods are heavily traveled by pedestrians, an environment which I personally prefer, as it shows us the real face and vibrancy of the city.

Peter Gallotta: I live on Hyde Street in the Tenderloin, and one of my favorite walks is from the Tenderloin directly up Hyde Street until you literally reach the Bay. And you can take a break along the way to stop in for ice cream at Swensen’s at Union & Hyde Streets (you can even make two stops if you do a round trip walk!).

Megan Gee: I love my walk to work zig-zagging through SoMa – I see something new every time.

Lila Hussain: I love walking from Ferry building to the Mission along market street, you get to see a whole cross-section of the city and all of its diversity.

Jessica Lum: I really enjoy the part of my walk to work that takes me through the Transamerica Redwood Park.

See all of our fabulous current board members here.

We are always looking for passionate and dedicated board members. If you are interested, email Jodie Medeiros, Walk SF’s executive director, to hear more!