Early this morning, Wednesday May 25, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle on the corner of Pierce Street and Lombard Street in San Francisco’s Marina District. San Francisco Police Department spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said the 30-year-old driver did not see the pedestrian before the collision took place, but did not appear to be driving under the influence of alcohol. This tragic death follows a string of pedestrian accidents on Masonic Avenue that led to a $20 million plan to improve pedestrian safety on that street, and highlights the need for additional pedestrian safety plans throughout San Francisco.
A new report by Transportation for America, a coalition of planning and transit groups, found that pedestrian accidents comprise more than 50 percent of San Francisco’s total traffic fatalities, more than four times the national average. That’s a terrible record, and the city of San Francisco should take serious steps to make city streets safer. “The report highlights that in San Francisco, as in the entire county, arterial streets are deadly, speed kills, and that relatively small investments in pedestrian improvements to our streets make neighborhoods in our city much safer, more pleasant places to walk,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of pedestrian safety organization WalkSF.
Part of the problem is San Francisco’s high number of wide streets, which makes motorists feel comfortable exceeding speed limits, often putting pedestrians in danger. Implementing plans like Masonic Avenue’s Boulevard Plan to reduce speeds throughout the city would be well worth the cost if it reduced fatal pedestrian accidents like the one this morning’s on Lombard and Pierce streets in the Marina.
Visit the “Dangerous By Design” report for more on San Francisco pedestrian accidents, and street safety statistics nationwide.
UPDATE: The San Francisco Police Department has announced that the victim of this morning’s Marina District pedestrian accident was seriously injured, not killed as originally reported. A second update clarified that the 22-year old victim is now on life-support.
Photo credit: mrjorgen