New research: a startling safety gap for crosswalks in some San Francisco neighborhoods

By Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, February 9, 2022

“[Marcel Moran, a UC-Berkeley doctoral candidate studying city planning] just published a study in an academic journal mapping every single one of San Francisco’s 6,399 intersections and using satellite imagery to determine whether each has a crosswalk. In this supposedly progressive, equity-focused city that’s pledged to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024, the results are dispiriting.

“Crosswalk cold spots, where pedestrians can walk blocks without encountering a crosswalk, are almost entirely in the southern half of the city. Some cold spots exist in wealthier neighborhoods including the area around Grandview Park in the Sunset and Bernal Heights. But many cold spots exist in lower-income neighborhoods such as the Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, and Bayview-Hunters Point.

“To its credit, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has made strides in making the city’s streets safer —particularly in the Tenderloin, where it reduced the speed limit to 20 miles per hour and banned right turns on red lights.

“Erica Kato, a spokesperson for the SFMTA, said that the same rules apply for drivers at intersections whether there are painted crosswalks or not and that the agency doesn’t have the resources to paint or maintain crosswalks at all intersections.

“Kato added that the agency is focusing on repainting crosswalks on the streets with the most traffic injuries.”

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