San Francisco has a public health problem on its streets, and so does the rest of the country. Guns were used to murder 8,454 people in this country in 2013, but more than 32,000 people — almost four times as many — were killed on our roadways that year. While gun violence rightfully draws intense media attention, this country has become collectively indifferent to the many more people killed while walking, biking or riding in vehicles. With cities such as San Francisco and New York leading the way, there is growing momentum at the local, state and federal levels to end traffic deaths. Under the leadership of Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, we adopted a goal in February 2014 of eliminating all traffic deaths in San Francisco by 2024, whether people are walking, riding a bike or in a vehicle. A staggering one-half of all patients seen at San Francisco General Hospital’s trauma center are injured in some type of collision involving a motor vehicle. Recent research estimates that the medical costs for just the pedestrian injuries treated at the hospital amount to $15 million each year, and three-fourths of that money comes from taxpayers. In San Francisco, 12 percent of streets are the site of more than 70 percent of severe and fatal collisions, and half of those high-injury streets are in low-income neighborhoods or those with high populations of seniors or people of color. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has challenged all mayors to take action over the next year to improve safety for people walking and riding bicycles.
- Temporary Sidewalks Part of Calgary’s Effort to Help Pedestrians.
- Where the Rubber Meets the Road: The current situation is a system failure
- Where the Rubber Meets the Road: speed is the most important factor to regulate
- Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Total Cost per Capita
- Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Child pedestrians Seven times more likely to be hospitalized