New Year’s resolutions are in full force for people across the nation, and San Francisco policy makers have resolved to reduce the number of serious pedestrian accidents caused each year. San Francisco’s unique structure and attractions draw a large number of pedestrians, but the city also leads the nation in the number of annual pedestrian deaths caused by car accidents. In fact, 50 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the city are pedestrians, a fatality rate that is four times the rate across the nation.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has made the resolution to reduce pedestrian fatalities 25 percent by the year 2016. True to many plans, the program would include several short-term and long-term goals. His plan includes new mandatory 15 mph speed limits around schools, focused enforcement in high risk areas and increased funding and resources for injury prediction models in the hopes to reduce not only the number of citizens lost but the $280 million annual accidents cost the city.
In addition to several new safety measures, the Mayor plans to create a new traffic division called the Pedestrian Safety Task Force that will include officials from several agencies including the San Francisco Police Department and the Department of Public Health. He also plans to secure additional funding for programs that would increase community outreach and place a stronger emphasis on pedestrian safety when planning other projects.
An advocate with the Walk SF organization praised the Mayor’s plan, calling the plan an “encouraging step forward” that includes several safety features the group has been working to establish for “quite some time.”
Source: SFexaminer.com “Pedestrian injuries in San Francisco targeted for reduction” Will Reisman 12/20/10