SFMTA year-end list skips strides for pedestrian safety

Pedestrian safety advocates are miffed that the director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency didn’t mention one accomplishment related to walking in his year-end list of department achievements.

In a stakeholder letter sent out to his constituents and posted online, Director Ed Reiskin touted a series of notable milestones achieved by the SFMTA in 2011, including applying for nearly $1 billion in federal funds for the Central Subway project, new bike safety training courses, the rollout of its SFpark program and increased enforcement measures against illegal cabs.

However, Reiskin didn’t make any note of the agency’s pedestrian safety projects.

Bob Planthold, a pedestrian safety advocate, said the oversight was a “glaring omission” that underplayed the role of walking, which is the most common mode of transportation for city residents. He said that the agency actually accomplished some noteworthy goals this year related to walking issues, including the drafting of a citywide pedestrian safety plan.

Both Planthold and Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF, said Reiskin’s oversight had more to do with communication issues at the agency, and less with some deep-seated disrespect for walkers.

“The SFMTA should be remembering that walking is a critical piece of our transportation network, and that we’ve made good strides this year,” said Stampe, who successfully pushed the SFMTA to lower speed limits near school zones this year.

In an email to Planthold, Reiskin acknowledged his omission. “While we have more work to do,” Reiskin said in a statement, “I’m proud of the work staff has done to improve safety conditions for pedestrians throughout our city.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

San Francisco needs to plan for 80,000 homes. Where will they go?

West side neighborhoods could be transformed by the ‘Housing Element’

Niners vs. Rams: It’s like fighting your little brother

These two teams know each other well. And they look alike, too

What happens when a pandemic becomes endemic? S.F.’s top health official weighs in

Dr. Susan Philip envisions a city that will manage this ongoing disease