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San Francisco must double-down on Vision Zero

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Two quick ways to send this message to leaders now

You may have seen last week’s Chronicle article: enforcement of the five most dangerous driving behaviors, called “Focus on the Five,” has plummeted in the past two years. Meanwhile, of course, there are tens of thousands more vehicles on the roads.

As I state in the Chronicle article, it’s unconscionable that a city committed to Vision Zero would allow traffic enforcement to drop to these astonishingly low levels. These citation numbers are especially distressing when we know it’s going to take every engineering and enforcement solution possible to adequately meet the safety challenges on our streets.

We need our elected officials and agencies to double-down on traffic safety now. Here’s what you can do next to send this message.

Tell Mayor Breed thanks – and keep pushing toward Vision Zero

On Friday, Mayor London Breed announced several actions she’s taking in response to what’s happening on our streets. This includes:

  • The SF Police Department will double the number of traffic officers dedicated exclusively to “Focus on the Five” citations. (This is a start; at the SFMTA Board meeting Tuesday, SF Police Department’s Acting Captain of Traffic Luke Martin said “we ideally we would triple or quadruple that number.”)
  • The SFMTA is about to pilot “left turn calming” (read how this works in New York City). In addition, Mayor Breed asked SFMTA to create a plan by January to develop a “no right on red” policy (this is especially important since failure to yield is one of the top causes of traffic crashes in San Francisco). Both are solutions we’ve been strongly advocating for to help prevent conflict in the crosswalk.

We are thankful to Mayor Breed for pushing city agencies to do more – and to do it faster. Mayor Breed’s continued action on Vision Zero is essential, which is why we urge you to email your thanks to Mayor Breed for her leadership on safe streets.

Final push for the Board of Supervisors to declare a state of emergency for traffic safety

After you email Mayor Breed, please email or call your Supervisor if they haven’t yet signed onto the resolution introduced by Supervisor Haney to declare a state of emergency for traffic safety. Note: As of September 2, Supervisors Norman Yee, Hillary Ronen, Sandra Lee Fewer, and Vallie Brown are signed on as co-sponsors.

The language in the resolution is clear: the safety of people walking and biking must be prioritized over flow of traffic.

We see San Francisco declaring a state of emergency for traffic safety as a necessary step to both acknowledge the crisis on our streets and support unprecedented levels of action. And we want every Supervisor’s signed onto the resolution, so look up your Supervisor and send them an email now.

And then… get ready.

We have some big campaigns ahead of us in order to truly transform San Francisco’s streets and make them safe for all. We must win state legislation to bring speed safety cameras and lower speed limits to San Francisco. We need to make the city’s first raised crosswalk (coming to Page Street next year) be the first of many. And car-free spaces should be commonplace – and of course that needs to include Market Street!

Step by step, we will get there… but be sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you know when you’re needed next!