San Francisco has seen numerous pedestrian fatalities this year. In an effort to address the problem, Mayor Ed Lee recently announced plans to increase pedestrian safety throughout the city. The plan will be finished in 2013 and aims to reduce serious or fatal pedestrian accidents. The plan calls for a 25 percent drop in pedestrian accidents by 2016, and a 50 percent drop in these accidents in subsequent years.
According to the mayor, one of the best examples is the Powell Street Promenade near Union Square. Sidewalks have been widened in this area to reduce motor vehicle traffic. The safety plan also calls for reducing speed limits and making various improvements to intersections. It will use data to increase enforcement and driver education about dangerous pedestrian zones.
The pedestrian safety plan is geared towards saving lives and preventing catastrophic injuries. Some of the worst places for pedestrian accidents are Market Street, Van Ness Avenue and 19th Avenue, as well as intersections near highway off-ramps.
It is hoped that the plan will prevent hundreds of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the upcoming years. It is reported that nearly 900 pedestrians were hit and injured in San Francisco in 2011. There have been 18 pedestrians struck and killed so far in 2012. As addressed in a previous post, the latest of these fatalities involved a 78-year-old man who was struck by a car at the intersection of Market and Beale Streets.
Despite the city's efforts, pedestrians continue to suffer serious injuries and even death in these accidents. If any of our California readers or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, they should know that there are certain legal rights in order to pursue compensation from the party responsible for the injuries.
Source: SF Appeal, "Pedestrian safety initiative to target motorists, distracted walkers," Dan McMenamin, Dec. 19, 2012