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San Francisco Celebrates Second Annual Walk to Work Day

April 11, 2014 in Environment, EV News, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

Image courtesy of SFMTA

Image courtesy of SFMTA

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, today joined the Board of Supervisors, Walk San Francisco, and other city partners and business leaders to celebrate the second annual Walk to Work Day. As part of the City’s commitment to “Vision Zero,” a plan to eliminate all traffic deaths in San Francisco by 2024, the SFMTA unveiled new plans to improve safety on San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks. Over the next 24 months, the SFMTA will be implementing 24 Vision Zero near-term engineering projects that will improve safety for all people, whether they walk, ride a bike or drive.

San Francisco sees almost one million trips on foot daily. But each year 800 people are injured and 100 severely injured or killed while walking, contributing to an alarming rate of overall traffic injuries and fatalities in San Francisco. People walking are among the most vulnerable road users, with over 4,100 people injured or killed in collisions in San Francisco between 2007 and 2011, nearly two people injured every day.

“San Francisco remains one of the most walkable cities in the world, and we all must do our part to keep pedestrians safe,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Any pedestrian death or serious injury is one too many in our City, and residents will have an opportunity to fund pedestrian safety improvements to make our City safer through a proposed $500 million transportation bond and an increase to the vehicle license fee.”

Over the next 24 months, the SFMTA will be implementing 24 Vision Zero engineering projects alongside the agency’s existing programs that enhance safety for people walking, biking and driving, which include initiatives such as slowing down vehicle speeds, installing signals at intersections in need, enhancing existing and building new bikeways, and implementing measures to calm traffic citywide.

The SFMTA has also announced that the first Vision Zero project has been recently completed with pedestrian safety improvements installed at 6th and Howard streets, an intersection that has a disproportionately high number of pedestrian collisions. At 6th and Howard streets, the SFMTA installed painted sidewalk extensions to shorten crossing distances and increase visibility of pedestrians, new zebra-striped crosswalks that make people more visible to drivers as they cross the street, and advance limit lines that encourage people driving to stop farther away from the marked crosswalk.

“Building better and safer streets can help us ensure that individual mistakes on the road do not lead to death or serious injury,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Safety will always be our top priority and as we look to expand our efforts to build safer streets for everyone who uses them, the City will need voter support for the funding measures proposed by the Mayor for the November 2014 ballot.”

The SFMTA’s 24 Vision Zero projects will be spread throughout the City, from reducing vehicle speeds and installing a new traffic signal on Sunset Boulevard, to implementing safety improvements for people walking on Kearny Street. The 24 Vision Zero projects will provide safety features for all road users and are focused on not only corridors such as Golden Gate Avenue, where signal timing changes will lower vehicle speeds from Van Ness Avenue to Market Street, but also at specific locations such as the intersection of Mission Street and Silver Avenue where curb extensions will be added.

“We applaud the City’s bold commitment to Vision Zero. When streets are safer, people are healthier and businesses thrive,” said Walk San Francisco Executive Director Nicole Schneider. “Walk to Work Day is an excellent opportunity for San Franciscans to see what’s working, and what the city needs to take action to fix.”

Vision Zero builds on the Mayor’s commitment to cut the number of people killed and severely injured on our streets in half by 2021, a primary goal of the San Francisco Pedestrian Strategy, which was released in April 2013 on San Francisco’s first Walk to Work Day.

This article is a repost, credit: SFMTA. Video courtesy of City of San Francisco.