FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 6, 2022
CONTACT: Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833-7654(c); Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580(c)
Pedestrian hit and killed on December 28 near Fisherman’s Wharf, another killed in crash on January 1
Nineteen pedestrians died in total in 2022
San Francisco, Calif. – In the final days of 2022, a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Fisherman’s Wharf, making the nineteenth pedestrian fatality of the year.
On December 28, 2022, 38-year-old Brandon Gorski was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver at Bay Street and Stockton Street.
Just a few days later on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023, Bess Chui was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver at Potrero Avenue and Alameda Street in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.
“Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Brandon and Bess, all of whom face such devastating loss,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco.
Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets community stand ready to support the friends and loved ones of the victim however possible.
In total, 19 people were killed while walking in San Francisco in 2022. 37 people were killed in all traffic crashes in 2022, which is the deadliest year since the City adopted Vision Zero in 2014. Vision Zero is a comprehensive, data-based, preventative approach to ending severe and fatal crashes.
“Many streets are far too dangerous, especially for pedestrians,” said Medeiros. “And the City isn’t doing nearly enough to address the threat we all face. Where is the urgency?”
Both Bay Street and Stockton Street are designated as “high-injury corridors” due to the high crash rates. Bay Street is especially dangerous for pedestrians given how wide it is, which leads to higher speeds by drivers. Potrero Avenue is also a “high-injury corridor,” with six travel lanes as it travels under the Central Freeway. Speed is the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco.
Like many designated high-injury corridors, Bay Street and Stockton Street have yet to receive comprehensive safety improvements.
The City adopted an aggressive new Vision Zero Action Strategy in 2021 that organizations including Walk SF praised. But the timeline for completing what’s in the strategy has fallen far behind on almost every front.
One of the commitments the City made in 2021 was to complete 80 miles of ‘Vision Zero Quick Build’ safety projects by 2024. These safety projects would be on the high-injury streets that have yet to receive safety improvements – streets like where the recent crashes occurred. But the SFMTA isn’t completing the projects nearly at the pace needed to meet its goal of 80 miles.
“The City knows the streets that desperately need safety improvements,” said Medeiros. “But last year, the SFMTA completed only two miles of improvements, despite their pledge to do 20 miles. And so far, there are only plans in motion for about 15 miles in 2023.”
“With each day the City falls behind in completing safety projects it has promised, they are risking precious lives, especially our most vulnerable like seniors and children,” said Medeiros.
Walk San Francisco and San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets is calling on City leaders to get the Vision Zero Action Strategy back on track, especially the City’s commitments to:
- Complete 30 miles of ‘Vision Zero Quick Build’ safety projects in 2023 and 2024 so the City stays on track with its goal to bring safety improvements to all high-injury streets by the end of 2024
- Create a comprehensive plan to address dangerous speed (read Walk SF’s new report on dangerous speeds)
- Expand no-turn-on-red beyond the Tenderloin neighborhood
- Install red light cameras at eight additional intersections
- Expand left turn calming beyond initial pilot of just seven intersections
- Reduce speed limits to 20 MPH on the 42 identified eligible business corridors
“Streets can be designed and enforced to protect us,” said Medeiros. “But the City has to make traffic safety a priority, and it’s troubling how much the City is falling behind in its commitments.”
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and more than 500 severely injured each year on San Francisco streets. Older adults make up 50% of these fatalities annually.
In 2014, 13 City agencies committed to Vision Zero: a comprehensive, data-based, preventative approach to ending severe and fatal crashes by 2024. The most recent Vision Zero Action Strategy and Walk San Francisco’s analysis of it can be viewed here.
# # #
Walk San Francisco (‘Walk SF’) advocates for safe streets for everyone who walks, which is everyone. Since our founding in 1998, Walk SF has been leading the way to make San Francisco a pedestrian-first city where people of every age and ability can walk safely. Learn more.
San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets is made up of survivors and families whose loved ones have been killed or injured in traffic crashes. Learn more.