image source: http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/walkingsf/8295315992/sizes/m/
When you first look at this image, what first comes to mind? A result from a computer application, capturing all of the clicks of your mouse? Radar coordinates from a secret operation? Artwork from a child?
Would you believe that this image actually depicts a mapping of all of the reported pedestrian accidents in San Francisco between 2005 and 2010? Please note that the entire city and outskirts of San Francisco is represented here–almost every block.
It’s chilling to believe that it doesn’t matter where we live in this City: pedestrians are at risk when we walk the streets.
The larger circles represent the greater risk; smaller circles represent less risk. Notice how the circles are smaller in the financial district and larger in the outskirts of the City. Could this be because there is more walking in the residential neighborhoods than in the commercial areas? Looking out the window of my office on California Street I see a lot of people walking. And, sadly I have also seen a lot of pedestrians hit by cars. So why are the residential neighborhoods showing more pedestrian accidents? If you know, I would be happy to have you comment, please.
Regardless of area, taking a step back, it would appear that the whole city has been impacted by pedestrian crashes at some point within the 5 year range in the study.
San Francisco is a vibrant city, full of walking commuters, shoppers, students, tourists and strollers. It’s a beautiful city which invites people to walk the streets and explore. As a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney, I take pedestrian safety seriously. As more and more San Franciscans try a healthier way to get to work or to school, and as more people regard walking as their exercise of choice, pedestrian safety has become a growing concern for our citizens.
I’m sad to say that the crosswalks and intersections of the City still leave walkers vulnerable to serious injury or even death. I believe the primary reason for so many pedestrian injuries is the increase of smartphone use which contributes to both distracted drivers and pedestrians. Hence, pedestrians must be on high alert.
Why are the numbers so staggeringly high? When most streets in San Francisco were designed (years ago), there were fewer people who walked the street. The roads were built for cars, businesses and neighborhoods, so that cars could move quickly and reach their destinations on time. There was less congestion and it seems less people in a terrible hurry to get to where they were going.
The old street plans did not anticipate the social shifts that would occur in the years in the future, as today so many people of all ages walk for business and pleasure and to exercise.
Those responsible for pedestrian safety need to protect the most vulnerable people first: the elderly and children. Additions have been made through the years to make the City safer such as speed bumps, medians, extended curbs and signs. In addition, adjustments have been made to the timing of intersection traffic signals to accommodate those who move more slowly.
SFPD has become more involved in their attempt to make the streets safer by issuing more fines and penalties for speeding drivers as well as drivers ignoring other traffic laws. Pedestrians do have the right of way in most cases.
I intend to continue to pass the word as I take a stand in protecting pedestrians.