FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2021
CONTACT: Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580(c); Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833-7654(c)
Pedestrian fatality this morning marks 12th pedestrian death this year
San Francisco, Calif. – Walk SF learned from the San Francisco Police Department this morning that a 30-year-old man was hit and killed at the intersection of Franklin and Union. No additional information on the crash is known yet to Walk SF.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and friends,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco (Walk SF). Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets community stand ready to support both victims’ families and friends however possible.
This fatality marks the twelfth pedestrian death of 2021.
“Too many people are paying the ultimate price for unsafe streets,” said Medeiros. “Twelve people have died this year while simply walking.”
The intersection where the crash occurred (Franklin and Union) is notable for several reasons. Sherman Elementary School is located at the southwest corner; the crash reportedly occurred just after the school day began at 7:45AM.
Franklin Street is a major northbound route; its wide, three lanes of traffic going one-way down a hill to the intersection make it conducive to drivers going at higher speeds. According to City data in TransBase, between 2016-2020 there were six traffic crashes at this intersection. However, this intersection is not on the City’s “high-injury network”: the 13% of streets where 75% of crashes occur.
With speed as the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco, it’s a strong possibility speed played a role in this crash.
“Speed kills,” said Medeiros. “The faster a driver is going, the more likely the crash will cause catastrophic harm to the person who is hit. Dangerous speeds on our streets threaten all of us, and the City has to address this with urgency.”
The recent passage of State Assembly Bill 43 means the City now has legal authority to reduce speed limits in more places starting in January 2022. Seven streets will get speed limits reduced to 20 MPH in January 2022: Fillmore, Polk, Haight, Valencia, 24th, Ocean and San Bruno. The section of Union Street where the crash occurred is eligible for speed reduction to 20 MPH, and the SFMTA has plans to move forward with this later in 2022.
“Lower speed limits are key to saving lives and creating calmer streets for everyone,” said Medeiros. “I’m heartened to see the City act quickly to start bringing speed limits down. This must be paired with designing streets that make it difficult for drivers to speed in the first place.”
On October 14, a hit-and-run driver killed a woman in her thirties at Van Ness and McAllister. William Hurt, 54, was killed on July 29, 2021 on Treasure Island Road by a hit-and-run driver. Christine Reed, 72, succumbed to her injuries on June 25, 2021 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on May 28 while walking in the Mission District. On April 24, a hit-and-run driver killed a 28-year-old man at Geary Boulevard and Park Presidio. On April 7, an 82-year-old person was hit at Fillmore Street and Golden Gate Avenue; they succumbed to their injuries on April 15. Antonio Durano, 78, was fatally hit at 3rd Street and Folsom Street on April 3, 2021. Edda Cabrera, 79, was fatally hit at Mission and Geneva on March 2, 2021. Twelve-year-old Jesai Andrews was fatally hit on his skateboard at Ingerson and Redondo Streets on February 10, 2021. Sheria Musyoka, a 26-year-old man, was fatally hit at Lake Merced Boulevard and Higuera Street on February 4, 2021. Michael Lynch, 85, was fatally hit at 24th and San Jose Avenue on January 19, 2021.
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and more than 500 severely injured each year on San Francisco streets. Each year, pedestrians make up the largest share of the victims. Seniors typically make up 40-50% of pedestrian fatalities, even though they are only 15% of the population. More seniors have died walking in 2021 already than in all of 2020.
On Sunday, November 21, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims will be held on the steps of City Hall. This event is open to the public. City leaders will be in attendance, and victims of traffic violence will share their stories and create a temporary memorial. Learn more at walksf.org/WDR.
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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.
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.