ATTN: Powell Cable Car lines currently not in service due to a cable strand alarm. No ETA on when service will be able to resume on Powell Street. Hyde & Mason line cars will switchback @ Washington. We are having cable car operators pull out buses to provide svc on Powell St. (More: 19 in last 48 hours)

Taken with Transportation Podcast: Keeping the Vision

Friday, April 19, 2024

People on a sidewalk, some holding signs.Street safety advocates and SFMTA staff at an event outside City Hall commemorating the 10th anniversary of Vision Zero.

It’s been a decade since San Francisco adopted Vision Zero. That’s the road safety policy to eliminate traffic deaths and reduce severe injuries in the city. “Keeping the Vision,” the latest episode of our podcast Taken with Transportation, takes listeners from the origins of Vision Zero to the work we are doing today to make our streets safe, joyful and welcoming spaces. 

“There was a cultural change underway locally and nationally with [an] understanding that severe and fatal crashes are preventable, and that there are ways to prevent them and save lives,” Megan Wier tells Taken with Transportation Host Melissa Culross. Wier was the first Vision Zero co-chair in 2014 when she was with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She now works for the Oakland Department of Transportation. 

The podcast also includes a conversation with former SFMTA Streets Director Tom Maguire. He joined the agency as Vision Zero was getting underway. “I remember 2014 being this really exciting and wide-open time,” Maguire says. “I think a lot of people in the field had been working for years to get away from the idea that blame and personal responsibility were the source of traffic fatalities, and Vision Zero just opened so many people’s minds to that.” 

Two people on bicycles near trees.Bicyclists enjoy an afternoon riding along JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park.

Even though we have not yet eliminated traffic deaths in San Francisco, the policy has changed the way we think about street design. We have strengthened our resolve to do everything we can to make our streets safe for everybody. From protected bike lanes to car-free spaces like JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco streets are changing. 

“I want San Francisco to be the kind of place where children can feel safe and comfortable biking to school anywhere in the city,” says SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeff Tumlin as he talks with Culross. “I want San Francisco to be the kind of place where the streets celebrate human connection and joy, not just the efficiency of moving cars.” 

Children on a playground listening to adults, some holding a sign.Students at Sunnyside Elementary School help kick off Walk and Roll to School Week in 2022. The event is part of our Safe Routes to School program.

SFMTA City Traffic Engineer Ricardo Olea and Board of Directors Chair Amanda Eaken also are featured in “Keeping the Vision.” You can find it and all the episodes of Taken with Transportation on our podcast page (SFMTA.com/Podcast) and on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.