San Francisco Unveils WalkFirst to Help Reduce Pedestrian Collisions
A number of key city departments today launched the community outreach program for WalkFirst, a joint project of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the San Francisco Planning Department, the Department of Public Health and the Controller’s Office. WalkFirst builds on past city efforts to improve pedestrian safety and walkability by prioritizing five years of capital improvements to meet the city’s Pedestrian Strategy goals that the Mayor announced in April to make San Francisco a safer place to walk.
“San Francisco is one of the most walkable cities in the world. By participating in WalkFirst, residents have the opportunity to help us make our streets safer for pedestrians by engaging with us and making recommendations,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Everyone is a pedestrian at some point, and their safety remains our highest priority.”
WalkFirst is a data driven process that will review existing City crash data, collect community feedback, document findings, analyze risk factors that cause collisions and study which safety measures are most cost effective at reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities. This effort will address neighborhood injury inequities and includes improving walking conditions for children, seniors and people with disabilities.
To read more about WalkFirst and to use the online interactive features, visit http://walkfirst.sfplanning.org. These features allow site visitors to recommend pedestrian safety funding priorities, view various categories of collision data on a city map, learn more about traffic safety solutions by examining the costs and benefits of various safety tools, and see a summary of the funding priority recommendations of their fellow participants.
“WalkFirst is an important step in helping to make our streets safer for pedestrians,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “By combining rigorous technical analysis with significant community outreach, we will target our investments in the communities that need them the most.”
"We are excited about the Mayor’s commitment to pedestrian safety and encourage people to share their vision for a more walkable San Francisco through WalkFirst. This project marks an important milestone towards advancing pedestrian safety in our city, and we want to make sure the public’s voice is heard,” said Nicole Schneider, Executive Director of Walk San Francisco.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users— accounting for half of all San Francisco traffic fatalities. On average, 100 people are severely injured or killed in traffic collisions every year in San Francisco. San Francisco’s Pedestrian Strategy focuses on actionable recommendations to reduce serious or fatal pedestrian injuries by 25 percent by 2016 and by 50 percent by 2021. To meet these goals, the city will be investing $17 million over the next five years.
The Pedestrian Strategy represents an unprecedented level of city coordination on pedestrian safety with key actions that include:
- Upgrading 70 miles of streets where injuries are most concentrated, 5 miles per year through 2021;
- Giving pedestrians extra crossing time at 800 intersections citywide, at least 160 annually;
- Improving safety around schools and senior centers with high pedestrian injury; and
- Targeting police enforcement efforts on the City’s high-injury corridors and intersections.