With 10 deaths so far this year in SF involving motor vehicles striking bicyclists and pedestrians, advocates are asking for increased safety improvements.
On Saturday, May 12, 65-year-old San Francisco resident Mark Swink, was fatally struck by a Golden Gate Transit bus at the intersection of Golden Gate Avenue and Hyde Street in the Tenderloin district.
The incident occurred at 7:30 pm and marks the 10th death of a pedestrian or bicyclist to occur in 2019 as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle in the city of San Francisco.
As the Examiner reports, a vigil for Swink was held Monday night at which Walk SF spokesperson Marta Lindsey said, "The reality is our city is facing new challenges on our streets... Our city has to act in a way that matches those challenges that we’re seeing, or else our city is going to get really scary."
Prior to Saturday, the most recent related death occurred on May 2, when 78-year-old Galina Alterman was struck by a vehicle as she crossed the intersection of Divisadero and Sutter in Lower Pac Heights. A mere 24 hours later, a bicyclist was struck by an F-train car on Market Street and suffered minor injuries.
The first week of March saw eight pedestrian-related traffic collisions that left two people dead, three critically injured and another five with minor injuries. March 8 also marked the first vehicular fatality of a bicyclist this year, when 30-year-old Tess Rothstein was struck and dragged by a truck in a horrific and heartbreaking incident in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco.
These March incidents prompted Mayor London Breed to issue a statement and directive asking city agencies to speed up safety measures and for SFMTA to implement quick safety improvements, but there does not seem to be a halt in fatalities occurring in the city.
The reaction from the SFMTA in March was the update to their Vision Zero Action Strategy, which identifies areas of increased accident occurrences. According to the document, 30 fatalities and 500 injuries occur on average every year as a result of traffic accidents in San Francisco. Of these accidents, about 75% of them occur on 13% of the cities streets, meaning quick action at those designated corridors will drastically reduce city fatalities.
The Vision Zero initiative, begun in 2014, has the ultimate goal of reaching zero traffic fatalities by 2024 — in 2018 there were 23.