Five years ago this week, a young man named Nils Yannick Linke was visiting San Francisco from Germany. And on August 13, 2010 he was hit and killed while biking on Masonic Avenue by a drunk driver who fled the scene.
That began what Yannick’s mother, Petra, called a “barefoot walk through hell” after the painful loss of her son’s life. For the Ride of Silence in 2014, Petra shared with participants a heartfelt letter, which included the need to redesign Masonic Avenue.
Yannick’s death was near the end of an extensive public planning process to redesign Masonic Avenue for people, not cars. A notorious traffic sewer cutting through residential streets north of the Panhandle, it was and remains today a treacherous street to walk, bike or even drive on.
On September 18, 2012, we celebrated with many of you a unanimous approval by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors a complete overhaul to turn this street into one that was beautiful, safe and comfortable for walking and biking. This would include a new planted median with landscaping, calmer intersections for everyone and raised bike lanes in both directions.
On June 25, 2013, we once again celebrated a major funding victory that brought in millions of dollars to fund critical streetscape projects, which included Masonic Avenue and 2nd Street.
And this week, we marked the five-year anniversary of Nils’ death and we have nothing to celebrate.
We recently learned that this project, which was supposed to complete its final design and move into construction phase earlier this year will now be delayed until January 2016. We have commitments from the SFMTA and the SF Department of Public Works (SFDPW) that they will deliver, but we need your help holding them accountable.
Speak up: “No more delays on Masonic!”
We’ll make sure that the SFMTA and the SFDPW hears your voice and that we can celebrate together when this long-delayed project finally begins construction.