Dear City leaders: 29 traffic deaths in 2020 should have you on high alert.
On New Year’s Eve, Hanako Abe and Elizabeth Platt were killed crossing the street at Mission and 2nd in SoMa.
On that day, precious lives ended while endless devastation was wrought on families and friends. No words do justice to the loss of Hanako and Elizabeth, nor to the loss of any of the people killed in crashes on San Francisco’s streets.
In 2020, 12 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic crashes, and 29 people in all traffic crashes. Pedestrians continue to be the most vulnerable, making up the greatest share of traffic deaths year after year in San Francisco.
The fact that there were 29 traffic deaths in 2020 – despite notably lower traffic due to the pandemic – should put all of us on very high alert, especially City leaders. There were 29 traffic deaths in 2019, too, which was an uptick from previous years.
Mayor Breed and city leaders at every one of the 13 departments signed onto Vision Zero should be asking themselves what they will do in 2021 to bring down that number.
And while the City’s fiscal challenges are significant, so is the cost of inaction. Too many people are paying the ultimate price for unsafe streets. The City must prioritize our safety.
That’s why over the next few months, Walk SF’s advocacy will be intensely focused on SFMTA’s revision to their Capital Improvement Program and the City’s new two-year Vision Zero Action Strategy. Together, these will have a huge influence on the City’s trajectory with traffic safety.
It’s going to take all of us to win real commitments, changes, and funding for safe streets. So I hope you’ll be ready and willing to speak out and stand up with us!
Thank you, as always, for being part of this growing movement and sharing our vision for a pedestrian-first San Francisco.
A special thanks to everyone who became a member or made a year-end gift to Walk San Francisco especially during such a challenging year. Thanks to you, we are ready to take on what you read about above!
Banner image by William McLeod from the 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims