When Walk San Francisco was founded 20 years ago, no one could have anticipated that our organization would someday face this question: if autonomous vehicles become a reality, how can we ensure [...]
Influencing Emerging Mobility Technologies
Almost since Walk San Francisco’s founding, we have actively worked to ensure new mobility technologies support safe streets and sidewalks for all.
Walk SF continues to be the city’s defender of sidewalk space. Sidewalks are our refuge as pedestrians, and we will always fight to protect them. This is why we advocated for and won the first U.S. law banning Segways from sidewalks back in 2002. It’s also why we helped Supervisor Norman Yee limit the testing of sidewalk delivery vehicles in 2017 to areas that could accommodate both robots and pedestrians, and it’s why we have spoken out about electric scooters being illegally ridden on sidewalks.
Walk San Francisco is currently pushing for thoughtful and rigorous federal and local policies on autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles have potential for making streets safer. But this will only happen if they are held to a very high standard for safety – and don’t lead to an even more vehicle-oriented future.
We feel it’s critically important to shape the direction of autonomous vehicle policy now, as the stakes are too high to wait and see exactly how they are realized on our roads. Read our stance on autonomous vehicles.
Whatever new mobility technology emerges, Walk SF will work hard to be sure it prioritizes safety above all else – and moves us closer to the kind of walkable, healthy, just, and sustainable city we want San Francisco to be.