Protect pedestrians

Pub date January 21, 2014

More than 50 public commenters spoke at the Jan. 16 joint Police Commission and Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting, and all sounded one message loud and clear: Drivers can maim and kill pedestrians with near impunity in San Francisco, and that must end.

"I’m here very simply to urge you to end the carnage on our streets," said Natalie Burdick of the nonprofit Walk SF. "These crimes cost the city millions annually, and untold value in terms of squandered human capital."

Pedestrian deaths reached a high last year, with 21 killed in traffic collisions. Sup. Eric Mar highlighted the lack of funding in Mayor Ed Lee’s Pedestrian Strategy, which has a funding gap of $5-18 million. But SFPD’s failure to cite motorists was the main criticism.

"The fact is these statistics have been consistent that two-thirds of pedestrian accidents are the fault of the driver," Sup. Scott Wiener said at the outset of the meeting. "It’s the fact of the situation."