Police sting lends hand to Taraval pedestrians

City residents have been on both sides of this coin: zooming through an intersection with a pedestrianin the crosswalk; or dodging and glaring at a car as they tried to walk across the street.

But drivers in the Taraval neighborhood be warned because San Francisco police are conducting undercover pedestrian sting operations to cite drivers “blatantly violating the pedestrian right of way.”

On Wednesday, officers at Taraval Street and 21st Avenue cited 45 drivers in just two and a half hours from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., according to police.

The fine for being within a crosswalk with a pedestrian is $99.97. Failing to yield to a pedestrian will cost a driver $134.96, Sgt. Steve Quon said, noting that police officers handed out mostly the $99.97 fines Wednesday.

There will be more stings in the future, said Quon, who added that a plainclothes officer was nearly hit by a white pick-up truck.

Quon said officers gave drivers “as much of an advantage” as they could by citing only drivers when the pedestrian was off the curb in the sidewalk and across the street by several steps.

The sting came about after new police captain Paul Chignell took a walking tour of the neighborhood recently and had a hard time crossing the street, Quon said. Several years ago, he added, a pedestrian was hit and killed at the intersection.

Dennis Lin, 47, has worked at the Tennessee Grill on the corner of 21st and Taraval for the last 10 years and said he witnessed the fatal accident. He said he takes extra precaution during the evening because the setting sun can nearly blind drivers coming down from 19th Avenue.

But at all times, he is careful, he said. “I know that they don’t stop, and I wait.”

dsmith@examiner.com

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