Mayor Orders SFMTA To Visit Sites Of Fatal Collisions

Mayor Orders SFMTA To Visit Sites Of Fatal Collisions
Police at the scene of a pedestrian fatality in SoMa on September 15. | Photo: _R27D/Twitter
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on November 09, 2017.

As the Examiner reported earlier today, Mayor Ed Lee asked the SFMTA to create a rapid response team that will visit the locations of traffic-related deaths to help determine how these areas can be immediately improved.

The mayor also asked the transportation agency to speed up projects with Vision Zero goals. The decision reportedly comes after multiple street safety projects have been delayed by inter-agency coordination issues.

A city rule asks agencies to coordinate with each other if multiple transportation projects are planned in a five-year period, so a street doesn't have to be torn up more than once.

But according to a letter written by transportation advocacy groups Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the five-year rule is causing "unacceptable delays."

The groups cited a fatal collision on October 31st at 36th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard that killed James Samiere, 47, as an example.

A pedestrian was killed in a Market Street collision. | Photo: Rose Garrett/Hoodline

In recent days, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition collected more than 250 signatures on a petition asking the mayor to address collaboration issues between city agencies.

"San Francisco saw the 11th person to die while walking this year. This is unacceptable and urgent city leadership is needed," they wrote.

The groups are seeking comprehensive safety improvements at the site of every fatality from traffic violence in San Francisco this year and ask Lee to use the power of his office "to settle disputes between city agencies."

"The safety of walking and biking can and must be improved at Sixth Street, 11th Street, the Embarcadero, Fell and Oak streets, Folsom and Howard streets, Townsend Street, and Upper Market Street," wrote the coalition.

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said intra-agency partnerships facilitate projects that improve transportation while protecting and upgrading infrastructure.

When projects fall behind schedule, “we work together to do everything we can to speed up the process and minimize the impact to the communities involved,” Rose told the Examiner.