FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2022
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)
Senior pedestrian hit in the Marina neighborhood succumbs to injuries
San Francisco, Calif. – An 84-year-old woman, Erna Egli, was hit and severely injured at the intersection of Fillmore and Chestnut Streets in the Marina neighborhood on March 10, 2022; she succumbed to her injuries on March 17, 2022. A friend of the victim said that Erna got around on foot and public transit, and had likely attended church services before the crash occurred.
“No one’s life should end in this way,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “We share our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of the victim.”
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.
“Seniors deserve to be safe when getting around our city,” said Medeiros. “More must be done to keep them safe.”
People over 65 make up just 15% of San Francisco’s population but typically make up around 50% of pedestrian fatalities each year. In 2021, of the 13 pedestrians killed, 6 were seniors.
“Our streets are often hostile to people walking,” said Medeiros. “And speed is the greatest threat.”
Speed is the #1 cause of severe and fatal crashes in San Francisco. Pedestrians are especially at risk when drivers speed. A person struck by a driver traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a person struck by a driver going 25 mph. The risk of death increases dramatically between 20MPH and 40MPH, and seniors face a significantly higher chance of death than younger adults. The rise of dangerous speeds is attributed for the national surge in traffic deaths in 2020.
San Francisco now has legal authority to lower speed limits on many more streets thanks to the passage of State Assembly Bill 43 in 2021. The SFMTA has approved plans to bring 20 MPH speed limits to Fillmore (south of the intersection where the crash occurred) and on Chestnut (west of the intersection where the crash occurred).
“We need San Francisco to be much more aggressive in prioritizing people, not fast-moving traffic, on our streets,” said Medeiros. “That means harnessing every possible strategy to bring down speeds, including lower speed limits and designing streets that make it difficult to speed, plus doing everything possible to make people safer in the crosswalk.”
Walk San Francisco is supporting a new state bill, AB 2336, which would allow speed safety cameras. Learn more at walksf.org/ab2336.
“We applaud the City for starting to tackle speed, and also need them to expand and speed up this work,” said Medeiros. “Deadly speeds are on the rise, and too many people will be hurt and killed if more isn’t done.”
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and more than 500 severely injured each year on San Francisco streets.
Walk San Francisco and Families for Safe Streets are urging city leaders to prioritize traffic safety and push quickly for solutions to address dangerous speeds. This includes extensively lowering speed limits and designing streets that make it difficult for drivers to speed.
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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.