SAN FRANCISCO – On the heels of Mayor Lee releasing the City of San Francisco’s official Two-Year Vision Zero Action Strategy, a new report by the 35+ local groups in the Vision Zero Coalition details how the City performed in year one of its goal to eliminate all traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2024. The report also highlights where more urgency and action are needed in the coming year.
“There’s huge public support for Vision Zero,” said Noah Budnick, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “Now Mayor Lee and his City team need to turn this into action. The MTA must get proven safety improvements onto our streets as fast as they can, and the SFPD must crack down on reckless drivers who put San Franciscans at risk. There’s no time to waste to save lives.”
Mayor Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made a public commitment in early 2014 to Vision Zero.
“The momentum Vision Zero got in 2014 was incredible,” said Nicole Schneider, Executive Director of Walk San Francisco. “City Hall and department leaders came together around this ambitious goal because they understand that it’s actually achievable: that traffic deaths are preventable.”
The Vision Zero Coalition progress report details the positive steps the City and specific agencies made in 2014.
“But the hardest work remains,” said Schneider. “Moving forward, the Coalition is committed to working with the City to tackle speed – the biggest killer on our streets – through the quick implementation of traffic calming projects combined with automated safety enforcement.”
In order to eliminate all traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2024, the Vision Zero Coalition is calling on the City to prioritize the following three strategies in 2015:
- Expedite implementation of at least 18 miles of street safety improvements on the city’s high-injury corridors, and prioritize locations in communities of concern.
- Advocate for a change in state laws to allow for more effective enforcement of illegal and dangerous speeding behavior.
- Focus enforcement on the five most dangerous traffic behaviors and locations — and ensure the SF Police Department increases the percentage of all “Focus on the Five” citations to at least 37% in 2015 and 50% in 2016.
Vision Zero has significant implications for San Francisco in terms of equity as well. The city’s high-injury corridors disproportionately impact San Francisco’s low-income communities and neighborhoods with high proportions of older adults and people with disabilities.
“The communities most likely to be injured in traffic are our low-income communities, communities of color, and seniors — the same people that rely most on walking and transit to get around,” said Angelina Yu of Chinatown Community Development Center, a member of the Vision Zero Coalition. “Improvements must be prioritized in these same communities in order to achieve transportation justice.”
“Until we reach zero deaths and serious injuries, we cannot waver,” said Schneider. “Let’s work together to make San Francisco a model city with safe streets for all.”