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Let’s shine ‘daylighting’ on many more San Francisco intersections ASAP

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The cheapest and easiest way to keep people safe in the crosswalk

How many times have you as a pedestrian had to creep and peek out from behind a parked vehicle to see if it’s safe to cross the street? I do it almost every day at the intersection nearest to my apartment, which lacks a simple but powerful safety solution: daylighting.

See and be seen with daylighting

Daylighting improves visibility for everyone – people walking, bicycling, and driving – by moving parking back to a minimum of 10 feet from a crosswalk or intersection. 

This visibility is crucial, especially for children because of their height. Without daylighting, a child often cannot see or be seen by approaching drivers because of the parked vehicles. You can watch this video by Streetfilms to see daylighting in action.

But daylighting still isn’t widespread in San Francisco

In recent years, SFMTA has added daylighting on some high-injury streets (the 13% of streets where 75% of traffic crashes occur). All intersections in the Tenderloin are now daylighted, which is fantastic. 

But there are thousands of intersections on high-injury streets in our city, and large numbers still await daylighting. In March 2019, Walk SF echoed the call by Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee to mandate daylighting citywide. He asked for 1,200 intersections to be daylit by May 2020. Supervisor Yee put his support for the legislation this way: “For anyone who says that this will cost parking spaces, let me just respond now: saving lives is more critical than saving a parking space.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why Supervisor Yee’s legislation needs to be realized ASAP. 

Let’s bring daylighting to dangerous streets across our city

This is why in our recent letter to SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin, Walk San Francisco asked SFMTA to complete daylighting on the entire high-injury network in 2020. This includes installing posts and painting pedestrian safety zones (or bike parking) to prevent short-term illegal parking; without this, daylighting is often meaningless. 

If you agree that daylighting is a solution San Francisco should embrace in a big way, send an email to SFMTA Director Tumlin now.

And if you stand for safe streets for all, support Walk SF’s advocacy today.

Banner image: SFMTA