Pedestrian Deaths in San Francisco Spark Concern — Half of fatal injuries in motor vehicle collisions in San Francisco are suffered by walkers.
With breathtaking views, San Francisco is a beautiful place for those who travel by foot. Yet, walking can be more dangerous than driving. As the city strives to be “the most walkable city in North America,” there has been a very high number of pedestrian and vehicle collisions which have caused recent fatalities.
Just last Thursday, a 51-year-old jogger was hit by a commuter bus which prompted pedestrian advocates to hold a rally on Friday morning at San Francisco City Hall in to protest “traffic violence.” A driver of a Golden Gate transit bus struck the jogger and killed her at Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Police Department reported 28 deaths including 18 pedestrians, three bicyclists and seven people in motor vehicles. Hundreds more are injured, many seriously, each year, said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Pedestrian activities in a sustainable city should be a safe environment for residents. Following the recent string of fatalities, community activists urged city officials to make streets safer for pedestrians. They want the city to build protected bicycle lanes, target professional drivers for more safety education and lower the speed limits on certain streets.
Every year over the past decade, on average, cars and other motor vehicles have killed approximately 20 pedestrians and have injured 800 people walking. Half of fatal injuries in motor vehicle collisions in San Francisco are suffered by walkers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights that pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2011, totaling 4,432 deaths.