News Courtesy of the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Communications~~~
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131
*** PRESS RELEASE ***
MAYOR LONDON BREED MOVES FORWARD PLANS TO EXPEDITE
TRAFFIC SAFETY PROJECTS AND IMPROVEMENTS
To accelerate the goals of the recent Vision Zero Action Strategy, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Police Department, and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will expedite and increase pedestrian safety measures
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced new measures aimed at advancing the goals of San Francisco’s Vision Zero Action Strategy and expediting traffic safety projects in San Francisco.
Under Mayor Breed’s direction, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will develop a policy that requires SFMTA staff to move forward with quick, near-term safety enhancements on high injury corridors, including paint, safety posts, and temporary sidewalk extensions.
Additionally, she has directed the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to increase traffic enforcement and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to commit staff resources to achieving Vision Zero goals.
Mayor Breed’s announcement follows a series of traffic incidents that resulted in two deaths and multiple injuries. While the annual number of traffic fatalities has decreased in San Francisco since Vision Zero legislation was introduced in 2014, these recent events highlight the need for continued focus and action to ensure traffic safety.
“The events of the last week are yet another tragic reminder of how much work we still have to do to ensure that all of our residents are safe on our streets,” said Mayor Breed. “The current pace of traffic safety improvements in San Francisco is unacceptable and I refuse to allow red tape and bureaucracy to stop us from taking immediate, common-sense steps to improve safety while we undergo long-term improvements. Every life lost on our streets is one too many.”
While the City is committed to implementing traffic improvements on high-injury corridors through capital improvements, these projects can be lengthy to deliver. Mayor Breed’s directive will create more near-term, low-cost safety improvements until longer-term improvements are made.
“The heartbreaking reality of every fatality is that there is a family that is left grieving in its wake,” said Board President Norman Yee. “I authored Vision Zero five years ago because every resident deserves to feel and to be safe using the streets and sidewalks of our city. I stand firmly with Mayor Breed in her call for urgency to expedite simple and effective measures that we know work to improve the safety of our streets and that save lives. We must be relentless when it comes to enforcing a no-tolerance policy on any shortcomings - from pursuing hit-and-run drivers to urging our state’s legislators to clear any obstacles to implementing Automated Speed Enforcement citywide.”
Mayor Breed has directed the SFPD to increase enforcement of behavior most likely to result in a severe or fatal collision: speeding, violating the pedestrian right-of-way in a crosswalk, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to yield while turning. As a benchmark, she wants the SFPD to increase the number of citations and to meet the so-called “focus-on-the-five” goal of issuing at least 50% of citations to these top five traffic violations.
“There have been two vehicular fatalities in my district in the last month and both of them involved seniors in the crosswalk,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer. “This is heartbreaking. We need more enforcement to change the driving habits of people to slow down, yield to pedestrians and eliminate distractions while driving. Lives are at stake.”
Finally, to ensure that the City is working collaboratively on traffic safety improvements, Mayor Breed has called on the SFPUC to devote staff resources to the City’s Vision Zero Task Force and Traffic Fatality Response Team. Among the most recent collisions, more than half occurred at night, highlighting the need for proper street-lighting on dangerous corridors.
“Walk SF thanks Mayor Breed for coming out strong and taking immediate action to save lives, especially after this horrific past week,” said Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director of WalkSF. “Installing quick, inexpensive safety improvements on all of our deadliest streets by 2020 will have an impact on dangerous driving behavior. Traffic deaths are preventable, and of all places, San Francisco can lead the way in ending traffic violence.”