If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I’m a big advocate for Vision Zero, a campaign that San Francisco has been recently adopted to cut pedestrian death and injury in half by 2021. Vision Zero has come on the heels of a dangerous 2014 for pedestrians, with nearly 100 pedestrians killed or seriously injured in the city that year, with driver fault being the cause of over 60% of those injuries.
They say it’s darkest before the dawn, and Vision Zero may just be the dawn San Francisco pedestrians are looking for.
The first stage of the plan is a 43 week study, aimed at measuring the effectiveness of policy initiatives designed to change driver behavior towards pedestrians. Teams measured effectiveness by comparing collision and accident statistics city-wide, and implementing different initatives for different intersections, to determine what works, and what doesn’t.
You may have seen some of these initiatives in your daily commute, such as:
– Placing the text “It Stops Here: Pedestrians Have Right of Way” in city bus advertising spaces and billboards near targeted intersections
– Distribution of Pamphlets and community groups empowered to raise awareness
– Strict enforcement of right-of-way laws, with officers ticketing offending drivers
The study implemented different combinations of these initiatives, to determine what is the most influential on drivers in our city.
The results? Targeted intersections saw significant improvement in yield of right-of-way to pedestrians, increasing three to four percent, as opposed to the intersections not targeted by the study, where right-of-way yield actually droppd. This may seem like a small amount, but when you conside the sheer size of San Francisco, this could mean big results.
So what can you do? Keep on the lookout for Vision Zero and get involved! Join community activist groups, attend city hall and other public meetings, and most importantly, stay alert out on the roads! Whether you’re a pedestrian, cyclist, or operating a motorvehicle, we all need to be aware of our surroundings and ensure that we follow the rules of the road. VIsion Zero is making good strides, let’s make sure we can say the same for ourselves!