SFPD to crack down on violators for pedestrian safety

Starting Wednesday San Francisco police will target the city's biggest hotspot for pedestrian accidents and fatalities.
April 22, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
In a few hours there will be a big crackdown on San Francisco streets -- the police operation will be targeting the city's biggest hotspot for pedestrian accidents and fatalities. The area is Van Ness Avenue between Market Street and Geary.

The crackdown will happen during the morning and evening commute. Police will be looking for jaywalkers and speeders on Van Ness, where too many pedestrians have already lost their lives this year.

Crossing busy Van Ness Avenue on foot can be a dangerous game of "beat the clock." There's no time to waste.

"It's dangerous just to walk because of all the traffic, you know, so people have to watch out otherwise they lose their lives," said San Francisco resident Vincent Musabyimana.

This year, seven pedestrians have lost their lives in San Francisco; four of them were killed on Van Ness.

"We know those streets were designed, not for pedestrian safety, not for anyone's safety," said Nicole Schneider, a pedestrian advocate.

Schneider says streets like Van Ness were designed with cars, not people in mind. She hopes Wednesday's police crackdown on speeders and distracted drivers will send a message.

"Collisions are preventable, they're not accidents, they're preventable things," said Schneider.

Schneider supports San Francisco's "Vision Zero" plan to eliminate pedestrian deaths in the next 10 years, through enforcement and redesign of traffic hot spots.

"A big truck barely missed me and it is a little scary," said bicyclist Robbie Socks. He says pedestrian deaths will keep happening as long as cars keep rolling. "There's absolutely nothing they can do about it. It's a car culture. People are going to die. It's as simple as that."

Police know, the crosswalk clock is ticking to save lives, but they will try.

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