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Take the City’s survey now to send a message: don’t lose focus on ending severe and fatal crashes

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The City’s survey on its Vision Zero approach needs your voice by August 9

This spring, San Francisco marked ten years since adopting Vision Zero: a proven, preventative approach to end severe and fatal crashes.

Now, the City is looking at how it will approach Vision Zero in the coming years. As Walk SF leads the push for Vision Zero to get the focus, funding, and full authority needed to succeed, we need your voice.

The SFMTA has an online public survey open until August 9. Can you take this short survey to echo our call for the City to recommit to and double-down on Vision Zero?

People like you taking the survey is important. We need to show that many San Franciscans care about Vision Zero, are paying attention to what the City is doing, and want to see more meaningful changes on our streets to keep us safe. Thank you for helping send this message!

Here’s our guidance for the four survey questions

Question #1: What are the top two traffic safety challenges that you see in the City/in your neighborhood?

Our thoughts: Year after year, speed is the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco. The faster a driver is going, the more likely a crash is to occur – and the more serious the consequences especially for us as pedestrians. If the City brought every possible speed-slowing solution to our streets, it would be transformative. So having the survey show a lot of people are concerned about speeding could be helpful in directing the City’s focus.

We also know that every day, an average of three people are hit as pedestrians in San Francisco – and this is usually in the crosswalk. Many dangerous intersections still need more improvements, from pedestrian safety zones to daylighting to turn calming to no-turn-on-red. These smaller improvements can add up to a lot more safety.

We recommend including ‘dangerous speeding’ and ‘unsafe crosswalks’ in your response.

Question #2: Below are high-level goals for Vision Zero SF. Please select your top two priorities.

Our thoughts: All the options listed are crucial goals for the City, so this question is a frustrating one. We think the City needs to hear that Vision Zero’s core goal of ending severe and fatal crashes must remain front-and-center, so priorities are set accordingly.

We recommend selecting ‘Protecting vulnerable road users, such as people walking, biking, and rolling’ and ‘Addressing the most dangerous behaviors in fatal and severe crashes.’

Question #3: What other ideas do you have to create safer streets for all road users in San Francisco?

Our thoughts: Walk SF has been researching other Vision Zero cities to identify ideas for how San Francisco can accelerate progress. We believe that many solutions aren’t being implemented at the scale needed to move the needle.

Turn calming, timing traffic lights to keep driver speeds in check, protected daylighting, and speed humps are all underutilized in San Francisco. Meanwhile, many designated high-injury streets are only getting the absolute basics (continental crosswalks, painted daylighting, and more crossing time for pedestrians). Especially with high-injury streets concentrated in Equity Priority Communities, it’s crucial that the deadliest streets get what’s needed to protect people in the crosswalk.

Our research has also pointed to how key interagency collaboration and accountability is, especially in delivering projects faster and to higher safety standards.

We recommend asking the City to expand its use of existing street safety solutions, plus adopting new ways to speed up how fast projects happen.

Question #4: Is there anything else you would like to share about the future of Vision Zero SF?

Our thoughts: The City has done and learned a lot in the first decade of Vision Zero. Now it’s time to institutionalize and invest in safe streets at the scale needed – ASAP.

That’s why more than ever, Walk SF believes we must together demand that Vision Zero is a true priority for City leaders and agencies. Doing everything possible to prevent tragedies is a must. And when our streets are designed for safety and people first, our city is stronger, healthier, more equitable, and more joyful.

We recommend sharing your strong support for Vision Zero, and for the City to recommit to and double-down on this policy.

Thank you for taking the survey – and what’s next with our work on Vision Zero

While Vision Zero continues to be the right approach and the right goal, it is not yet a success story here. But it can be.

San Francisco can become a city that prioritizes safety over driver convenience and makes getting around without a car easy and inviting. San Francisco can be a place where our streets bring us together instead of threatening our lives.

Encouraging people who care about safe streets to take the SFMTA’s survey is one of many ways Walk SF is shaping the City’s approach to Vision Zero. (Note that you can find Walk SF at Sunday Streets with paper copies of the survey!)

Walk SF has been working for months to research best practices, assess San Francisco’s progress, bring together the Vision Zero Coalition, and begin developing short- and long-term recommendations for the City.

We know from the past decade that our voices are crucial. Together, we can bring accountability and build the political will so that more gets done (and is possible!).

There will be more ways to shape and speak out for Vision Zero’s future over the next months, so be sure you get our newsletter.