FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2019
CONTACT: Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580 (cell)
Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833-7654 (cell)
Board of Supervisors Pass Resolution Declaring a State of Emergency for Traffic Safety in San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif. – The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution today declaring a state of emergency for traffic safety in San Francisco.
In the wake of horrific fatal traffic crashes in July involving pedestrians combined with an alarming rise in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, Walk San Francisco together with Supervisor Matt Haney and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition asked city leaders to declare a state of emergency for traffic safety. Supervisors Norman Yee, Hillary Ronen, Rafael Mandelman, Catherine Stefani, Sandra Lee Fewer, Shamann Walton, and Vallie Brown signed on as cosponsors of the resolution since Supervisor Haney introduced the resolution.
“San Francisco must take immediate, sweeping action to address the very real and very serious safety concerns of people walking and biking in our city,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “This resolution calls on the City and SFMTA to reduce and enforce speed limits, add more red-light cameras, re-time traffic lights for safety rather than speed, increase enforcement for dangerous driving behavior, and post clear effective signage to make our city’s streets safer for all of us. With the passing of this resolution, we reaffirm the promise we made as part of Vision Zero to eliminate injuries and deaths on our roadways,” continued Supervisor Haney.
“I applaud the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the very real public health crisis happening on our streets today in terms of traffic safety,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “Our City needs to do whatever it takes to make us all safe on our streets, and this resolution makes that very clear.”
In just the past week, one person was killed while walking: a 69-year-old woman, Pilsoo Seong, was fatally hit at South Van Ness and 19th Street on October 31. On Saturday, a 60-year-old man was hit at 16th Street and De Haro while walking, and is in critical condition with a brain injury. Critical injuries to pedestrians are on the rise in San Francisco, according to data from the Department of Public Health.
“So much can be done to stop these devastating crashes,” said Medeiros. “Today’s declaration of a state of emergency sends a message that it’s time for unprecedented levels of action. And we intend to hold city leaders accountable to this.”
One of the most powerful ways to make streets safer is to reduce speeds. The faster a vehicle is going, the more likely its driver is to cause a traffic crash – and to severely injure or kill the person who is hit.
“San Francisco has to get aggressive on speed,” said Medeiros. “Police enforcement of speeding has plummeted, and this needs to change ASAP. San Francisco also needs to bring speed safety cameras to our streets. And we need the deadliest streets to get the kind of serious improvements that will keep vehicles moving at safe speeds.”
“Today’s vote sends a message, as does the language in the resolution: the safety of people walking and biking must be prioritized over flow of traffic,” said Medeiros. “Saving lives is worth it.”
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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 at walksf.org.