Heather Miller (pictured above, right) was 41 years old. She loved her dog and a good glass of wine. She died biking through Golden Gate Park, along that stretch of JFK Drive without a protected bike lane.
Kate Slattery (pictured above, left), also a San Francisco resident, was 26 years old. She tweeted about equal opportunity for women, running and her Wisconsin Badgers’ basketball. Kate died when she was biking north on Seventh Street, crossing Howard beneath a green light.
We didn’t know Heather and Kate, but we’ll always remember Wed., June 22 as the day they took their last rides.
Take a moment today and say their names. Heather and Kate were not SF Bicycle Coalition members, but they biked here and we worked for them, advocating for City leaders to deliver the safe streets that they deserved. City leaders failed Heather and Kate, and we need to let them know that that is unacceptable.
At yesterday’s press conference, Mayor Lee and City leaders offered nothing but hollow talking points. We heard more vague promises about eliminating traffic deaths without a single concrete proposal for how they intend to do so. Meanwhile, the SFMTA is lamentably behind in delivering on its own plan to build the bike infrastructure we know our city needs. This week, those delays had fatal consequences.
The deaths of Heather and Kate this week were preventable, and the SFMTA knew that as far back as 2014. Yesterday, we published an incomplete list of high-injury corridors where the City has zero plans for improving biking this year. We also highlighted that, two years after promising to dedicate half of all traffic citations to the five violations accountable for a majority of traffic deaths, the SFPD remains woefully behind on reaching their own goal.
These City agencies work for you, the people of San Francisco. And they answer to Mayor Ed Lee, who needs to hear from you today.
Please write Mayor Lee and demand a specific action plan to improve the safety of biking in our city. San Franciscans deserve safe streets, not vague promises. The tragedies that took Heather and Kate this week demonstrate yet again that the City is delivering too little, too late.
Please join us in honoring Heather and Kate by demanding action to prevent more innocent people from dying on our streets.
Text for your consideration and personalization: In 2016, San Francisco is on pace to set a new all-time high in traffic fatalities. The evening of Wed., June 22 is an unprecedented reminder of how much work is still needed to eliminate traffic deaths.
Enough is enough. I am writing to you today to demand an action plan as our city’s top leader to deliver the change we need on our streets to make San Francisco a safe place to bike.
The SFPD continues seeking the suspect driving the car who killed Heather Miller. If you have any information, please call SFPD’s anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444.