Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Catherine Stefani and City Officials Highlight Pedestrian, Traffic Safety for First Day of School
Increased traffic enforcement, street safety improvements will make streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians and bicyclists
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed joined Supervisor Catherine Stefani, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Interim Director Tom Maguire, and community advocates today to remind San Franciscans about the importance of pedestrian and traffic safety, especially with school starting on Monday, August 19. Also joining the announcement were students who have advocated for pedestrian and traffic safety improvements after one of their teammates passed away after being hit by a vehicle.
This year, SFMTA is providing crossing guards at 106 schools in the City. The Crossing Guard Program has hired 15 new guards, for a total of 190 Crossing Guards, who cover 154 intersections throughout the City. Additionally, the Safe Routes to School Program will expand from 30 elementary schools to 103 K-12 public schools. The Safe Routes to School program partners with local community centers, City departments, and pedestrian safety non-profits and programs to help make walking and bicycling to school safer and more accessible for children, including those with disabilities, and to increase the number of children who choose to walk, bicycle, take public transit, or ride in parental carpools.
“We want to make sure that our streets and sidewalks are safe for everyone in our City—whether you’re walking, biking, taking public transit, or in a car,” said Mayor Breed. “We have several ongoing initiatives to ensure year-round safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a few extra measures in place to make sure students can get to and from school safely once classes start on Monday.”
Mayor Breed reaffirmed the City’s commitment to making San Francisco’s streets safe for everyone, and discussed ongoing efforts to enhance street safety so that children and youth can get to and from school safely. The City has designed streets to reduce traffic speeds and increase visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists, and is building more protected bike lanes. During the first week of school, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will provide enhanced traffic control and enforcement near at least 20 schools located on or near high-traffic corridors.
“With my own kids starting high school and fifth grade this month, I’m especially focused on the safety of our daily commutes,” said Supervisor Stefani. “After hearing countless stories of hit-and-runs and pedestrians or bicyclists being injured—or even killed—while trying to get to school or work, I applaud Mayor Breed’s attention to pedestrian and traffic safety. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to make our streets and sidewalks safe for all.”
“Everyone has a role to play in keeping our streets safe,” said SFPD Chief William Scott. “For drivers, it is as simple as slowing down, avoiding distractions, watching for pedestrians and obeying the 15 mile-per-hour limit in school zones. Bicyclists, skateboarders, people using scooters and pedestrians must also follow our City’s traffic laws. By doing so, we can help ensure the well-being and safety of everyone on our streets.”
“We are working diligently with the school communities to deliver safer streets to our youngest pedestrians,” said Tom Maguire, Interim SFMTA Director of Transportation. “From designing and engineering safer streets to deploying more crossing guards at key intersections this year, we are excited to support families actively choosing sustainable modes of transportation to get to and from school safely.”
In May, Mayor Breed committed to adding 20 miles of new protected bike lanes over the next two years, and increasing traffic citations for blocking bike lanes by 10%. She advocated for a quick-build policy, which allows the City to make street safety improvements on high-injury corridors that need to be fixed immediately. SFMTA adopted the quick-build policy in June and is currently using the policy to implement safety projects.
In addition to street design improvements to increase safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, the City will continue efforts to increase traffic enforcement. In March, Mayor Breed instructed the SFPD to increase enforcement of dangerous driving most likely to result in collisions and to issue at least half of traffic citations to the five most common causes of collisions and injuries: speeding, violating pedestrian right-of-way in a crosswalk, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to yield while turning.