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Bay Area board passes pedestrian safety proposal

In 2012 alone, approximately 1,000 pedestrians were struck by cars, trucks and motorcycles while they were traveling the streets of San Francisco. Of those 1,000 pedestrians, at least 19 were killed as a result of their injuries and others were debilitated by the accidents.

San Francisco is a green city that promotes alternatives to motor vehicle travel. Neighboring cities like Oakland tend to share similar values. However, promoting cycling, public transportation and foot traffic without adequately ensuring the safety of these kinds of travelers is irresponsible. The rate of pedestrian accidents occurring annually in the city has reached a critical point at which legislators can no longer ignore the fact that reform is necessary.

As a result, the San Francisco board of supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee passed a proposal earlier this month designed to address this issue properly. Among other provisions outlined in the proposal is the creation of a Street Design Review Committee that would be charged with mandates related to pedestrian-friendly reform and development. It would also require revisions to existing interpretations of the fire code aimed at increasing pedestrian safety specifically.

The full San Francisco board of supervisors is expected to vote on this proposal in the near future, possibly even within the coming week. Whether the proposal as outlined will sufficiently enable the city to reduce its pedestrian accident rate has yet to be seen. However, proposals favoring pedestrian safety in all Bay Area cities and towns may be greeted as reforms focused in the right direction.

Source: CBS San Francisco, “San Francisco Pedestrian Safety Legislation Moves Forward,” June 4, 2013

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