So far, 2011 has been a great year for San Francisco pedestrian safety and bicycle safety. Facing troubling pedestrian and bicycle accident statistics, city lawmakers have enacted programs that promise to greatly benefit the city’s cyclists and pedestrians. Most recently, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency has installed green “Bike Boxes” on both directions of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue to make non-motorist safety more of a priority.
The green bike boxes, comprised of a tough, sticky material providing bicycle traction even on rainy days, enables bicyclists to line up in front of vehicles at stop lights so they can get a head start when the light turns green. This also prevents cyclists from entering crosswalks, thereby making the roads safer for San Francisco pedestrians. Streetsblog San Francisco reports that according to recent surveys, the number of cyclists and pedestrians on Market Street have increased drastically since the SFMTA began implementing improvements in 2009. View photos and more information about the bike boxes at StreetsblogSF.
Meanwhile, the Travelin’ Local blog has reported that bicycle accidents are on rise in Los Angeles County. In 2000, for example, there were 232 bicycle accidents resulting in 28 deaths. In 2008, however, there were 252 bicycle accidents resulting in 33 deaths. Elsewhere in the state, bicycle accident statistics have declined thanks to the work of safety advocates and cities that have installed smart bicycle safety programs like San Francisco’s Bike Boxes. Perhaps the notoriously bike-centric Los Angeles County will enact stricter bicycle safety laws and programs so that bike accidents begin to decline over the next decade.
Photo Credit: velobry