Two New Supervisors Promise to Improve San Francisco Bicycle, Pedestrian and MUNI Safety

-Posted On May 2, 2013 In Pedestrian Accident-

After being elected into office November 2012, two new Supervisors London Breed and Norman Yee geared up to talk about the importance of San Francisco transportation and pedestrian safety in their neighborhoods.


London Breed represents District 5 which is undergoing some major transportation improvements, including bicycle and pedestrian upgrades on “the Wiggle”–one of the City’s most heavily-cycled routes for bicycle commuters in San Francisco’s western neighborhoods, and a favorite place for her to roller skate as a child. MUNI’s busiest line, the N-Judah, will receive improvements as well.

I’m a San Francisco attorney, and I represent bicyclists and pedestrians who are hurt by cars and busses. I believe that the best way to reduce bicycle and pedestrian injuries is to improve our San Francisco infrastructure, with an emphasis on bicycle safety where bikes share the road with cars, and also an emphasis on pedestrian safety in the most congested and chaotic sections of the City.

We have a crowded City, and where pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, cars and busses all are going to be in the same place at the same time, we need a well-designed system that best promotes safety for all users of the roadway. Otherwise, chaos rules and the safety of our families is haphazard at best. Also, we must look at the organization of the MUNI, beginning with proper vehicle maintenance and reasonable scheduling so that MUNI operators will not be so rushed that they don’t take the proper time for safety.

I am happy to support and encourage fresh, new San Francisco leadership who promises to address the growing problems we have with growing populations in these districts, namely Western Addition, Japantown, the upper and lower Haight, North of Panandle, the Inner Sunset, and Cole Valley. Supervisor Breed believes,

“We have to do more, because we have more people walking, more people using public transportation, more people riding bicycles, and the projections in the next 10 to 15 years are really high. We’re going to have more people in San Francisco, and more people using these modes of transportation.”

Supervisor Breed knows that as a supervisor, her goal is to look at the historical data and the present predicaments, and from there find innovative ways to improve the City’s infrastructure–not piecemeal, as is typical for many improvement projects. Patching one problem at a time does not offer the “big picture”, longterm solution that is needed in order to really make a difference to San Francisco.

Among other things, Supervisor Breed promises to pay close attention to:

  • Redesign plan for Masonic Avenue, which will affect pedestrians, bicyclists and MUNI goers
  • Fell and Oak Street bike and pedestrian improvement
  • Better lit crosswalks, particularly at uncontrolled and statistically-dangerous intersections
  • MUNI’s N-Judah line improvements as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project, especially the addition of more light rail vehicles to increase passenger capacity (to accommodate for the multitude of MUNI vehicles constantly being serviced and out-of-service)
  • Parking infrastructure projects for residents and businesses

I am happy to mention that Supervisor Breed supports the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Norman Yee represents District 7.norman.jpg His first stated concern is for better pedestrian safety.

His neighborhood consists of West Portal, Parkside, Ingleside Terrace, Sunnyside, Parkmerced, Forest Hill, and part of the Inner Sunset.

Mr. Yee plans meetings with the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. Being quite suburban in character, this district does not have any pending strategy on how to keep its neighborhood walkers safe. Supervisor Yee was a victim himself, being hit by a car as he acknowledges,

Sometimes you can be careful and still get hit.”

I support a Civic leader who will actually look to the root of our San Francisco safety issues. Supervisor Yee’s summary of transportation is as follows:

“For me it’s not about cars vs. bikes, or pedestrians vs. cars, or MUNI vs. cars. It’s how do you balance everything in the best way you can?

A lot of times, people only want their system to be the priority, and nothing else, but I’m sorry… public transportation needs to be improved, private vehicles need to be able to move freely, bikes should be able to go from one place to another without getting crushed and, of course, pedestrian safety–if you want to walk, how do you make it safer?”

Educating bicycle riders is an important priority. Defensive biking skills are part of bicycle safety. Unfortunately, the bigger danger comes from motor vehicles; about 96 percent of the approximately 800 pedestrians injured each year are hit by motorists.

Supervisor Yee is not in denial about the horrific deaths in his neighborhoods, and uses them as examples on which to learn from. He invites the SFBC to bring any issues to his attention on bicycle infrastructure, particularly for the college students at SF State University and City College. Mr. Yee recognizes that the north-south routes to and from the colleges from the Sunset and Richmond are deficient in number.

Mr. Yee’s position on MUNI–as a rider himself–would be to put much of it underground.

Remember my motto… if it’s predictable, it’s preventable.

Awards & Recognitions
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