If you’ve never considered how dangerous it is to be a pedestrian in San Francisco, new statistics just might change all that. San Francisco police recently revealed that 964 pedestrians were hit and either injured or killed as a result of car collisions in 2012. Earlier data showed an average of 800 pedestrians are hit and injured by cars in the San Francisco area every year, making 2012 one of the most hazardous 12 month periods on record.
According to the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), pedestrian injuries cost the city of San Francisco around $76 million every year. With a staggering 964 pedestrian accident injuries during 2012, San Francisco is now one of the most dangerous and costly cities in the state of California for pedestrians. In fact, pedestrian injuries make up about one quarter of all injury crashes in San Francisco and, according to multiple reports, almost half of the city’s traffic fatalities.
What’s interesting is that the city of San Francisco was named 2012’s “Best Walking City” in the nation by both the American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention Magazine. The award was given due to the multiple San Francisco city agencies who work hard assisting those people who have walking issues and difficulties. Meanwhile, an average of three pedestrians are hit by cars around the city on a daily basis.
The most dangerous areas around the city have the highest number of pedestrian accident fatalities. These areas are near freeway on and off ramps, as they dump the highest number of cars onto “wide, one-way roads located in San Francisco’s eastern neighborhoods.”
In the South of Market area of San Francisco, there is also a growing danger for thousands of pedestrians. The residential population in this area is rapidly expanding, leaving pedestrians to walk in some of the most hazardous conditions in the city.
The streets are especially dangerous for the pedestrians of San Francisco during winter months. There are shorter daylight hours, an influx of holiday shoppers both driving and walking city streets, a higher number of alcohol related accidents and inclement winter weather, all leading up to the highest number of pedestrian accident injuries.
Time for Change
City officials are taking note of the recently released statistics, along with a large public outcry to make San Francisco streets safer for pedestrians. Organizations like Walk SF push for and promote pedestrian safety improvements around the city, such as the current Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project. Prior to the upgrades, Valencia Street’s sidewalks were extremely narrow, making it dangerous for pedestrians in the area. The Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project effectively widened sidewalks to a safe size, provided trees along the street, installed bicycle racks and pedestrian-scale lighting for safer walking at night.
Following in the footsteps of the Valencia Street upgrades, Supervisor Scott Weiner has introduced his own proposal to address San Francisco’s pedestrian woes. Weiner believes there is too much “red tape” when it comes to street improvement projects, slowing progress down to a crawl. He also says that forcing streets to be designed one specific way likely will do nothing to rectify the situation. Instead, Wiener feels that communication is the key to protecting San Francisco’s pedestrians.
Wiener’s proposed legislation looks to create a new Street Design Review Committee comprised of representatives from several city offices and agencies, such as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Department of Public Works. The team’s goal would be to come up with design conflict solutions and modify city codes, emphasizing the overall goal of keeping San Francisco’s pedestrians safe. Wiener’s legislation will go before the full board next week for a vote and is expected to pass.
Pedestrians who are struck by cars are most commonly hit while walking in a crosswalk. San Francisco pedestrian-automobile injuries commonly include head and brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord and neck injuries and many others. Due to the skyrocketing costs of medical treatment and potential loss of wages, if you are the victim of a pedestrian accident injury, it is extremely important to have your case evaluated by a San Francisco personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for damages.
Contact Our Office Today
To get more information about pedestrian accident representation at the Law Offices of Nelson C. Barry III, contact us today and schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.