San Francisco was out front among U.S. cities adopting a Vision Zero initiative, aiming to make streets so safe there are zero traffic fatalities. And according to a new report, the northern California city is, in many ways, getting safer for pedestrians.
Walk San Francisco’s “Street Score 2015: Annual Report Card on Walking” evaluates walkability and progress toward Vision Zero goals made last year by looking at everything from policy and engineering to education and legislation.
“We can’t measure what we don’t count,” said Nicole Ferrara, executive director of Walk San Francisco, in a press release. “The Street Score report tracks what the many city agencies are doing to address pedestrian safety and walkability. In this report we look at progress towards both the overall Vision Zero goal of ending all traffic deaths and serious injuries, and the supporting street improvements, like the number of countdown signals, raised crosswalks, and bulbouts installed.”
While 96 pedestrians were either killed or severely injured by cars in 2014 — and the goal was to reduce that number to 82 — San Francisco did exceed goals in many areas. Twenty-three pedestrian islands, which reportedly reduce collisions by 56 percent, were installed in intersections; the goal was 10. There was also a big increase — 77 percent — in the number of citations handed out to drivers for speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians from 2013 to 2014; the goal was a 10 percent increase. There wasn’t as much progress made in the widening of sidewalks, wayfinding and connecting people to parks.
Walk SF listed several recommendations to the city in its report, such as improving data collection, working on the state legislature to prioritize reduced speed limits and establishing a “complete streets checklist” that would put all municipal departments on the same page when it comes to walkability improvements.
See the full report here.
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.