SFMTA targeting speedsters for pedestrian safety projects in 2016

Targeting speedsters on The City’s streets is at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions for street safety planners.

At a San Francisco County Transportation Authority Vision Zero committee meeting Thursday, movers and shakers behind crafting safer streets listed their top priorities to prevent road deaths in 2016.

Besides speeding, they listed a number of street engineering projects that will see major milestones next year. Among those corridors are Masonic Avenue, Van Ness Avenue, Polk Street, Columbus Avenue, Lombard Street, 6th Street, Market Street and Golden Gate Avenue.

Re-engineering those corridors to be safer for pedestrians, cyclists and autos is part of the Vision Zero effort, The City’s policy goal to reduce street deaths to zero by 2024.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to bite the bullet and spend the money,” said Tom Maguire, director of sustainable streets with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

“All these projects will continue to move forward this year,” Maguire said. But in 2016, “The number one thing we can be doing is to focus on the number one cause [of pedestrian deaths], excessive speeding.”

In the last two years, he said, the SFMTA had broader goals and focused on the “five most dangerous” driving behaviors. Those include speeding, but also running red lights, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, failing to yield while making a left or U-turn and failing to fully stop at stop signs.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who is also head of the Vision Zero Committee, praised the SFMTA for its work, including completing 24 Vision Zero street projects in 22 months, with more than 13 miles of improvements along “high injury corridors” — also known as The City’s most dangerous streets.

Cathy DeLuca of Walk SF echoed that praise and said, “It’s important to celebrate the successes we have. How often are things done early?”

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