SF Plans Overhaul Of Dangerous Intersections In Wake Of Pedestrian Deaths

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Pedestrians cross Powell St. at Union Square on January 14, 2011 in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Pedestrians cross Powell St. at Union Square in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco will re-design some of its most dangerous intersections, adjusting the timing traffic signals and fixing cross walks curb ramps all over the city, with the goal of cutting pedestrian deaths in half by the end of the decade, Mayor Ed Lee said Friday.

“We’re going to re-engineer streets around at least five schools and two areas that have the highest levels of concentration of senior injuries every year,” Lee said.

Twenty pedestrians were killed during 2012 on city streets bustling with cars, bicycles and street cars.

As San Francisco held the nation’s first Walk To Work Day, Lee outlined measures the city’s Pedestrian Safety Task Force has recommended to make a city already attractive for its walkability safer for those on foot, such as re-timing traffic signals to give pedestrians more time to cross.

“We’re going to re-open 20 closed crosswalks by 2021, and we’re going to upgrade over 13,000 curb ramps in the next 10 years,” he said, pledging to re-vamp five miles of street every year.

The new pedestrian safety strategy also includes education and enforcement, said Police Chief Greg Suhr. More motorcycle officers will be on the lookout for infractions such as drivers who do not really stop at stop signs.

Suhr also stressed that pedestrians have a responsibility to pay attention when they step off the curb.

“Speeding, failure to yield, not stopping completely at a stop sign, running a red light. Drivers need to be aware of this, but pedestrians too. You need to be aware when you’re crossing the street.”

Suhr’s stern advice to look both ways and make eye contact with drivers when crossing came with a message many did not get as children.

“For God sakes, do not walk and text,” he said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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