Another dangerous week on San Francisco streets

Three incidents of traffic violence, two fatal, within the last seven days

Three collisions, two of them fatal, have occurred in San Francisco within the last seven days, evidence that traffic violence persists in San Francisco even during shelter-in-place.

All three of the collisions took place within The City’s High Injury Network, the 13 percent of San Francisco streets where more than 75 percent of severe and fatal traffic injuries occur.

The first occurred on Thursday, Oct. 8. Officers were called to the intersection of Castro and Divisadero streets at approximately 7:46 p.m., where they found a 36-year-old man who had been struck by a car and was recovering on the sidewalk.

He was transported to a local hosptal with non-life threate,ning injuries, and the 75-year-old man driving the vehicle remained on the scene to cooperate with investigators, Adam Lobsinger, spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department said.

Lobsinger said the investigation was ongoing.

Two people died this week as a result of traffic collisions.

Dewayne Phoenix, 57, was driving a vehicle that crashed into a residential building at Arguello and Turk streets on Tuesday October 13 at roughly 12:36 a.m. Phoenix, who has no confirmed city or county of residence, according to the Chief Medical Examiner, was pronounced dead at the scene.

No others were injured, according to Lobsinger, who said the investigation is “active and ongoing,” and “impairment is unknown at this time.”

The second death followed early the next day.

According to SFPD, a male motorcyclist in his forties was found down at the intersection of Hayes Street and Masonic Avenue at roughly 4:18 a.m. Wednesday. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Chief Medical Examiner could provide no additional identification.

North-bound Masonic Avenue between Fell and Grove streets was closed for about two hours for officers to conduct an investigation, which remains ongoing, Lobsinger said.

San Francisco was the second city in the country to adopt the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2024. Through the end of September, the last month for which aggregate data is available, 19 people have died this year due to traffic violence either while walking, cycling, or driving a motorcycle, motor vehicle or car.

Though this total number is below the five-year average at this point in the year, The City saw a lull in street activity during the start of shelter-in-place, which created a notable pause in collisions. Things started to pick back up again over the summer, however, prompting some Vision Zero advocates to worry The City might not reach its goals.

After a Vision Zero fatality or injury, the San Francisco Transportation Agency dispatches a response team to evaluate how, if at all, the corridor or intersection could be retooled to improve safety.

According to Kristen Holland from SFMTA, previously scheduled corner red zones and “state law yield to pedestrian” signs were installed on Castro and Divisadero on October 9. Southbound lanes on Divisadero and Northbound on Castro already had clear corners, continental crosswalks and pedestrian warning signs.

At Hayes and Masonic, Holland said there are “no new traffic calming measures planned at this time, subject to any additional information from SFPD’s ongoing investigation.” The transit agency installed traffic signal upgrades, bike lanes, continental crosswalks, and raised medians in 2018 as part of the Masonic Streetscape Project.

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