FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 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)
Senior hit and killed on Tuesday; marks fourth pedestrian death of 2021
San Francisco, Calif. – Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the pedestrian who was hit at Mission and Geneva on March 2, 2021. The victim was identified by SFPD as a 79-year-old woman.
“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.
The intersection of Mission and Geneva is a dangerous and busy intersection, with 5 travel lanes in each direction. Both Mission and Geneva are designated as “high-injury” streets, the 13% of San Francisco streets where 75% of severe and fatal traffic crashes occur.
“This intersection is far too risky for the thousands of people crossing here every day,” said Medeiros. “Bringing significant safety improvements to deadly intersections like this needs to happen faster.”
Plans are in the works by SFMTA to expand sidewalk space by four feet on the southeast corner going east along Geneva, plus add left turn signals for traffic taking a left from Mission (in both directions). This is part of the SFMTA’s Mission / Geneva Safety Project approved in September 2019 and scheduled for construction in 2022.
“The City is six years into its commitment to end severe and fatal crashes by 2024: Vision Zero,” said Medeiros. “When you look at how many high-injury streets still haven’t had significant safety improvements, it’s no surprise that people are being hurt and killed regularly.”
There are 168 miles of high-injury streets, and as of October 2020, 86 miles (51%) were not yet in any stage of planning or completion of safety improvements.
“We desperately need the City to find a way to speed up the pace of safety improvements on our streets,” said Medeiros. “Far too many people are paying the highest price for unsafe streets.”
Tuesday’s fatality marks the fourth pedestrian death of 2021. An 85-year-old man was fatally hit at 24th and San Jose Avenue on January 19, 2021. Twenty-six-year-old Sheria Musyoka was fatally hit at Lake Merced Boulevard and Higuera Street on February 4, 2021. And 12-year-old Jesai Andrews was fatally hit on his skateboard at Ingerson and Redondo Streets on February 10, 2021.
Walk San Francisco recently released district-by-district traffic safety report cards (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.
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.
“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, and 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.