FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2021
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)
First pedestrian death of 2021; advocates push City leaders to make traffic safety a priority in 2021
San Francisco, Calif. – Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the pedestrian who was hit at 24th Street and San Jose Avenue on January 19, 2021. The victim, identified by SFPD as an 85-year-old San Francisco resident, succumbed to their injuries on January 23, 2021.
“We mourn this loss of precious life on our streets,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. Walk San Francisco and members of the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets stand ready to support the victims’ families and friends however possible.
This marks the first pedestrian death of 2021. “These tragedies will continue unless meaningful action is taken,” said Medeiros. “Far too many people are paying the highest price for unsafe streets.”
The death comes on the heels of Walk San Francisco releasing district-by-district traffic safety report cards last week (go to walksf.org/reportcards). The report cards show there are designated high-injury streets in every district, and every district has unacceptable numbers of people being hurt and killed.
“Unsafe streets hurt all of us,” said Medeiros. “But it especially hurts our most vulnerable community members.”
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and nearly 600 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.
The “high-injury network”, the 13% of streets where 75% of traffic crashes occur, disproportionately fall in the City’s Communities of Concern: high levels of households with minority or low-income status, seniors, people who have limited English proficiency, people who have disabilities, and more.
“It’s time for City leaders to face the threat of dangerous streets in a much more aggressive and focused way,” said Medeiros.
In 2014, the City of San Francisco committed to end severe and fatal traffic injuries within ten years: Vision Zero. Vision Zero launched an interagency, data-driven approach to traffic safety. While many important changes have come out of this commitment, including a focus on redesigning the high-injury network, there has yet to be a drop in crash rates. City budget challenges put Vision Zero at further risk, as does growing traffic and dangerous driving.
“Vision Zero continues to be the right approach and our best hope for traffic safety,” said Medeiros. “Streets can be designed and enforced to keep people safe. But it will take real commitment and real changes from City leaders, as well as much deeper interagency coordination.”
In 2014, 13 City agencies committed to Vision Zero: the Mayor’s Office, SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), SF Dept of Public Health, SF Police Department, SF Public Works, SF Planning Department, SF District Attorney, SF County Transportation Authority, SF Dept of Environment, SF Fire Department, SF Unified School District, SF International Airport, SF Recreation & Parks.
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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.