FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2019
CONTACT: Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-596-1580 (cell)
Marta Lindsey, Communications Manager, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617-833-7654 (cell)
Child hit while crossing the street in the Tenderloin yesterday
‘Enough is enough’
San Francisco, Calif. – Yesterday afternoon, a 12-year-old boy was hit while crossing the street by a driver under the influence in an SUV at Leavenworth and Golden Gate.
The boy is in stable condition, but the incident illustrates how unacceptably dangerous it is for people walking in the Tenderloin. Traffic crashes are happening all-too frequently in this neighborhood. Four pedestrians have been hit and killed in the Tenderloin this year.
Janice Higashi was hit and killed at the very same intersection while walking to lunch during jury duty in March. Benjamin Dean was hit and killed in July nearby at Taylor and O’Farrell. Michael Evans and Mark Swink were also hit and killed in the Tenderloin earlier this year. Evans was hit at Eddy and Mason in July; Mark Swink was hit at Hyde and Golden Gate in May.
“We don’t need another severe or fatal crash to tell us that drastic changes are needed in the Tenderloin,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “SFMTA and SFPD need to put the Tenderloin at the very top of their list of priorities.”
“Enough is enough,” continued Medeiros. “When our children are being hit in the crosswalk, there’s no question our streets are in crisis.”
Walk San Francisco, along with Supervisor Matt Haney and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, asked city leaders to declare a state of emergency for traffic safety in July (Norman Yee, Sandra Lee Fewer, Hillary Ronen, and Vallie Brown are signed on as cosponsors of a resolution declaring this; the next stop for the resolution is the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee in late September). 15 people have been killed while walking or biking in San Francisco so far this year. This number is more than double as it was the same time last year.
“The majority of pedestrians killed this year were in a crosswalk when they were hit,” said Medeiros. “What kind of city can San Francisco claim to be when people can’t cross the street safely?”
Walk San Francisco has been urging major street design improvements on high-injury streets, and asking for traffic enforcement of the most dangerous driving behaviors to be focused on these streets. But it’s about more than traffic officers. “There are only 13 red light cameras in San Francisco, even though running red lights is one of the biggest contributors to crashes,” said Medeiros. “There used to be more than 40 red light cameras. Why don’t we have more? We need every tool possible to make our streets safe.”
And we especially need crosswalks near schools to be safe. Golden Gate and Leavenworth, where the boy was hit, has a school nearby and after-school program at 826 Valencia Street. Walk San Francisco points to New York City, which already has hundreds of speed safety cameras installed within a quarter mile of every school (and will ultimately have 2,000 of these cameras). This proven solution is overdue to come to San Francisco, but state legislation is required to do so.
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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 at walksf.org.