Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined by Supervisor Jane Kim, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Vision Zero Coalition and other city agencies, announced the completion of the 24th Vision Zero project. As part of the City’s commitment to “Vision Zero,” a policy to eliminate all serious traffic injuries and fatalities in San Francisco by 2024, the SFMTA developed a list of 24 expedited Vision Zero projects in 2014 to improve safety on San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks. The SFMTA had committed to implementing these 24 Vision Zero engineering projects in 24 months – by February 2016 and completed them early.
“The City of San Francisco is working to quickly build safer, better streets, educate the public about traffic safety and increase enforcement to protect our residents,” said Mayor Lee. “We completed our high-priority Vision Zero projects ahead of schedule, and we’re not stopping there. We have identified six additional projects that begin immediately. We will continue to work to make our streets safe for everyone, whether they are walking, biking, driving or taking transit.”
The City uses a data-driven approach to identify a High-Injury Network, the 12 percent of San Francisco streets that account for 70 percent of severe and fatal traffic injuries and established an additional goal of completing 13 miles of safety improvements along that network in 2015. The SFMTA achieved that mark in September, three months ahead of schedule, and is working daily to make additional improvements.
Just this year the SFMTA has moved quickly to:
· remove obstructions to improve visibility for all road users, particularly children walking or people in wheelchairs, at 119 intersections
· install painted safety zones at 27 intersections, reducing turning speeds and improve visibility
· painted high-visibility continental crosswalks at 123 intersections
· Modified traffic signal timing at 41 intersections to give people walking a head start
“When we know that the injuries, damage, death and trauma from collisions are absolutely preventable, we have a moral imperative to act,” said Supervisor Jane Kim. “Thank you to the City family for its commitment to moving quickly on implementing Vision Zero. Together, I know that we can achieve zero fatalities on our streets.”
“Moving forward with these improvements all over the city is great news for pedestrians and the City of San Francisco,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who also serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority. “To truly be the transit first city that we need to be for our growing population, we must prioritize livable and walkable neighborhoods. This means not only improving and reengineering our existing streets, but also ensuring that we are creating streets designed for pedestrians in new neighborhoods in the southeast, Park Merced, and on Treasure Island. Making our streets safer for pedestrians is a critical public safety and transportation issue.”
In 2014, the City and County of San Francisco adopted Vision Zero as a policy, committing to build safer streets, educate the public on traffic safety, enforce traffic laws, and adopt policy changes that save lives.” Engineering safer streets is one component of the City’s Two-Year Vision Zero Action Strategy, which outlines the projects and policy changes the City is pursuing in the next two years to increase traffic safety on San Francisco’s streets. The Action Strategy encompasses a range of solution to address street safety through engineering, education, enforcement, evaluation and policy, and it can be found online at: visionzerosf.org/
As part of the Vision Zero effort, the City’s Safe Streets SF program, which combined enforcement with educational marketing campaign, was successful in increasing by 3.2 percent the number of vehicles yielding for pedestrians, a study by the Department of Public Health found recently.
Among the 24 priority engineering projects completed was Safer Market Street, which put in place turn restrictions for private cars on a busy downtown stretch of Market Street that had four of the top 20 intersections for pedestrian injury collisions citywide, and the top two intersections for bicycle injury collisions.
“Completing these 24 projects ahead of time, with more on the way, reflects our sense of urgency and core philosophy that traffic deaths are preventable and unacceptable” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “Getting to zero traffic deaths is ambitious, but it is achievable. It will take a synergy of better engineering, more education and strategic enforcement to get there over time, and we have been moving quickly in the right direction.”
The 24th Vision Zero engineering project completed is two painted safety zones at the intersections of Geary and Leavenworth and Eddy and Mason streets. Painted safety zones are effective and easily implemented, increasing pedestrian safety by creating more distance between turning vehicles and pedestrians waiting on the sidewalk, encouraging vehicles to turn more slowly, and maintaining good visibility between drivers and people stepping into the crosswalk.
By the end of 2016, the City will have improved hundreds of the highest need intersections with near-term safety measures like high-visibility crosswalks, traffic signal re-timing and red zones. The City will have also started major construction efforts to make high-injury corridors like Masonic Avenue, 2nd Street and Polk Street safer for all.
Guided by San Francisco’s Vision Zero resolution, the 24 projects were selected because they are located on San Francisco’s High-Injury Corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists, were visible, demonstrated a range of safety treatments, and were thought to be feasible within 24 months. These 24 projects are a fraction of the engineering work the SFMTA has been doing in support of Vision Zero.
For more information, please visit www.visionzerosf.org