FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 3, 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)
In aftermath of two pedestrian deaths on New Year’s Eve, advocates demand city leaders make traffic safety a priority in 2021
San Francisco, Calif. – Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the two pedestrians killed on New Year’s Eve. Elizabeth Platt, 60, and Hanako Abe, 27, were crossing at Mission and Second when a speeding, intoxicated driver ran a red light and fatally struck both women.
“We grieve these horrific and heartbreaking losses on our streets,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “No words do justice to the loss of these two people and the toll this takes on their loved ones and communities.” 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.
“29 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, the exact number killed in 2019,” continued Medeiros. “Mayor Breed and city leaders at every one of the 13 departments signed onto Vision Zero should be asking themselves what they will do in 2021 to bring down that number.”
“The fact that there were 29 deaths in 2020 – despite lower traffic due to the pandemic – should put our leaders on high alert,” said Medeiros. “Traffic safety needs to be a priority. Now. These tragedies will continue unless meaningful action is taken.”
“Far too many people have paid the highest price for unsafe streets,” continued 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. But while some important changes have come out of this commitment, including a focus on redesigning the streets with the highest crash rates, progress has stalled. City budget challenges put Vision Zero at further risk.
“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 are 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 Department of Environment, SF Fire Department, SF Unified School District, SF International Airport, SF Recreation & Parks.
On average, 30 people are killed and 600 severely injured in traffic crashes in San Francisco each year. People walking continue to be the most vulnerable and suffer the greatest burden with traffic safety.
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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.
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.