Friday, February 6, 2009

Connecting the Dots

Streetsblog SF continued today to earn its developing reputation as a leading champion of livable streets and catalyst for change in the city. Three articles on pedestrian issues in a row illustrate the problems we deal with and offer opportunities to make change for the better.

San Francisco Increasingly Dangerous for Pedestrians:
First in a series of stories focusing on ped safety in SF. Author Janel Sterbentz draws the connection between our most poorly-designed streets and a higher level of vehicle-pedestrian collisions. The map at right shows that pedestrians are more at risk along wide, multi-lane streets, especially one-way streets. Anybody who is in the habit of walking around this town can attest to the vulnerability of pedestrians along streets, like those South of Market, that have been designed to act like freeways.

MTA Board Agrees to Consider Studying Central Freeway Alternatives:
Hallelujah! This thing should never have been allowed to survive the turn-of-this-century demolition of its Northern segment. News that there is the world's slightest chance it may come down in my lifetime is exciting and unexpected. According to SB the MTA has agreed to consider studying alternatives to the godawful monstrosity as part of it's upcoming Eastern Neighborhoods Transportation Implementation Planning Study. It's far from a done deal, but thanks to Livable City executive director, elected BART board member and apparent superman Tom Radulovich it's one step closer.

The Great Streets Campaign Needs a Leader:
Wanted: SF's version of NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan; someone who will aggressively push for more complete streets and full compliance with City Charter Section 8A.115, our "Transit First" policy. Specifically, there's a job in it for you heading the SF Bicycle Coalition's new initiative, "The Great Streets Campaign."

Strong leadership from this campaign director and our elected officials, with even stronger support from the community and livable streets activists everywhere could bring about the removal of those elements of our streetscape that make SF the 4th most dangerous major city in the US for pedestrians, per capita. Yes we can!

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