FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 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)
The state of traffic safety across San Francisco:
Walk SF releases report cards for each district
‘San Francisco can and must prioritize traffic safety’
San Francisco, Calif. – In 2020, 29 people were killed in traffic crashes on San Francisco’s streets. This is the same number as 2019, which represented an uptick from previous years. In its work to hold the City accountable in preventing these tragedies, advocacy group Walk San Francisco (Walk SF) analyzed traffic safety data at the district level and created ‘Vision Zero report cards’.
“Many people have had close-calls or witnessed traffic crashes,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “Now they can see some of the data behind dangerous streets in their neighborhood.”
The Vision Zero report cards for each district launched today by Walk SF include: 1) how many people have been killed or severely injured since the City committed to Vision Zero in January 2014; 2) which streets and intersections are the most dangerous; and 3) where have safety improvements happened – and where are they lacking.
The Vision Zero report cards also detail what Walk San Francisco considers to be “basic pedestrian safety improvements”, everything from high-visibility painted crosswalks to giving pedestrians a head start in crossing the street before drivers get the green.
“These basic pedestrian safety improvements all add up to save lives,” said Medeiros. “The City’s made progress over the past six years, but many of these improvements still aren’t completed at the most dangerous intersections.”
“We know the City faces new funding realities due to Covid, but many of the things that can make streets safer are cheap and easy,” said Medeiros. Walk SF is pushing to protect funding for Vision Zero projects.
In 2014, San Francisco committed to end severe and fatal traffic injuries within ten years: Vision Zero. As the second city in the United States to adopt Vision Zero, San Francisco embraced an interagency, data-driven, multi-layered approach to prevent the tragedies occurring regularly on our streets.
Yet today, 30 people continue to be 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. And the threat is growing, as traffic and dangerous driving behaviors continue to rise.
“We all deserve to be safe simply crossing the street,” said Medeiros. “Yet that’s far from the reality right now.”
On November 11, 2020, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to recommit the City to Vision Zero. The City will update its Vision Zero Action Strategy in 2021, and will include opportunities for public input.
“There are deadly streets in every district. Now’s the time for people from every corner of the city to say, ‘Yes: San Francisco can and must prioritize traffic safety,” said Medeiros. “And if they do, a lot is possible, even with less funding. Vision Zero is the right solution, but the City must be laser focused on it.”
Walk SF’s Vision Zero report cards found at walksf.org/reportcards were created using: data collected by SFDPH, SFMTA, and SFPD and made public via TransBASE; SFDPH’s Vision Zero monthly summary reports; SFMTA’s October 20, 2020 Vision Zero update; and with specific data requested from SFMTA. View all 11 report cards at walksf.org/reportcards.
The top three causes of fatal traffic crashes in San Francisco are: failure to yield to pedestrians; unsafe speed; and not stopping at a red signal.
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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.