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It’s now or never: we need your voice September 7

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After months of pushing city leaders to take a much more ambitious approach to traffic safety, the City’s next ‘Vision Zero Action Strategy’ is heading to the Mayor’s Office for final approval.

There’s no excuse for the City adopting a weak strategy given that 30 people continue to be killed and hundreds severely injured in traffic crashes each year. There’s no excuse for a weak strategy given that affordable solutions exist that if done in a layered approach and at scale, will save lives.

The draft strategy included some of what we’ve been pushing for, like a comprehensive speed management plan and commitments to complete basic safety improvements at the most dangerous intersections by 2024. These wins only happened thanks to the 35+ groups in the Vision Zero Coalition and safe streets supporters like you.

But we’re concerned about what’s missing.

  • At public meetings earlier this summer, SFMTA said a shortage of $5 million meant it could only commit to 10 ‘Quick Build’ safety projects each year through 2024. This would leave 40 miles of designated high-injury streets still awaiting improvements a decade after the City adopted Vision Zero.
  • Currently, SFMTA plans to add ‘left turn calming’ at only 35 high-injury intersections by 2024. Meanwhile, 40% of traffic deaths in 2019 were caused by drivers taking left turns (there is not yet complete data for 2020, but left turns are a consistent killer in major cities including San Francisco).
  • SFMTA has made no additional commitment to expand the modest red light camera program beyond eight additional intersections from the current 13. This is despite red light running being one of top five most dangerous driving behaviors.

That’s why before it’s too late, all of us must demand more.

Our last chance to hold leaders accountable for the City’s blueprint for reaching Vision Zero is Tuesday, September 7 at the 1:00PM SFMTA Board of Directors meeting.

We are asking folks to call in after the Director’s Report (item #7) to make a VERY brief comment urging the Board to hold SFMTA to adopting a final strategy that goes as far as possible with existing tools to move the needle on crashes within three years. Here’s the meeting agenda.

Now is not the time to be quiet. We need city leaders to know we’re paying attention and expect more. Your brief testimony is powerful. Please consider speaking.