[Carfreeliving] Re: Traffic Safety "Marshall Plan"
dave at livablecity.org
Fri Jun 10 17:35:34 MDT 2005
Both of Jeremy's and Mike's comments are dead correct.
And I think your timeline, Mike, is correct. It'll happen anyway in
about 20 years, but it could happen in 5 with the right leadership,
which we have yet to see. As far as I know, nobody has even asked the
Mayor to do this.
>I was thinking the same thing about the pit bull thing, about how
>people are all in a tizzy about something that almost never happens.
> (what's new, eh?) Beyond the emotional reaction of people hearing
>of a cute kid getting killed by his own dogs, there has to be
>something else. I guess it's the fear that many people have felt at
>some point that they could be attacked when around these types of
>dogs. But is that much different than the fear that we have all
>felt at some point that we could get indiscriminately creamed by a
>car or truck while walking or biking? I have 3 family members who
>have been struck while walking in SF, one of them instantly killed
>in front of his son and daughter-in-law. Surely the vast majority
>of people have much more direct experience with a traffic related
>injury/death than a dog mauling, or pretty much every other injury
>With regards to political leadership, I agree. In so many ways,
>everything is in place for someone to champion the issue and make SF
>*the* city in North America with the most sustainable transportation
>system...we just need a champion. The most obvious person would be
>Mayor Newsom, who has demonstrated that he is not afraid to go out
>on a limb and take on a controversial/difficult issue. I think he's
>the one who could do this, especially since he seems to have decent
>relations with the business community who is often afraid of losing
>lanes, parking, whatever. Perhaps a supervisor, but with district
>elections, they are not in as good as position as the mayor to do
>so, who has city-wide accountability.
>I think he should go for it in this term, but if not, then certainly
>early in a (presumed) second term...he'd have 4 years to sell the
>idea to the city, and direct departments to get moving. With term
>limits, he would not have to worry about reelection, but really,
>this idea of accelerating the changes to the city transportation
>system should be a pretty easy sell and one that I believe would be
>evident to all but the most calloused folks, given a decent effort
>to frame the issue well. A well thought out effort would put the
>city, and thus the person who championed the issue, even more on the
>I feel very fortunate to have the job I now have, but I'd love to be
>part of a focused, city-wide effort to really sell and hammer home
>these ideas we basically know will work. We can let these changes
>happen over a span of 20+ years, or we can do it in a span of 5
>years (with the right approach). We just need a good,
>widely-respected sales person with some power, basically (in my
>"Jeremy Nelson" <jeremy at livablecity.org>
>06/10/2005 03:12 PM
>Please respond to
><jeremy at livablecity.org>
><Mike.Sallaberry at sfgov.org>
>"TLC Car Free Living" <Carfreeliving at livablecity.org>
>Traffic Safety "Marshall Plan"
>Hope you're well. Just wanted to take a moment to respond to your last
>post. You wrote: "There's a lot of energy out there to really push the
>transportation scene in the right direction, and while I'm all for this or
>that department/person getting criticized when criticism is deserved, I feel
>sometimes that that energy/focus is misdirected [...] So, it frustrates me
>when I hear misguided criticisms pointed our way."
>My earlier post about London's rapid successes in reducing pedestrian and
>bicyclist deaths and injuries was mainly critique of San Francisco's lack of
>an implementable plan with specific goals and timelines for improving
>traffic safety and reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries (ala
>London's plan). My main complaint was with the lack of vision and political
>to will among elected officials, not with DPT line staff.
>My point was that without any San Francisco elected officials articulating a
>vision to develop such a plan and showing the boldness to spend some
>political capital to implement it, the safety of our streets (real and
>perceived) for non-motorists will improve only marginally, and then only in
>an ad hoc, willy-nilly, and incremental fashion. This will be true DESPITE
>the best intentions and efforts of talented, hard working transportation
>engineers such as yourself and your colleagues at DPT.
>Ultimately, the blame for this lack of vision and leadership lies with City
>Hall. Consider: Earlier this week a child was mauled to death by a pit
>bull, and while every needless death is a tragedy, you wouldn't know from
>the immediate and highly visible reaction from the Mayor's office ("Pit Bill
>Task Force"?!) that just ONE person every THREE years dies from a dog attack
>in San Francisco (KTVU Channel 2). Contrast: The very same week, a vigil
>was held at Main & Harrison to commemorate the THREE people who have been
>killed in ONE year at this single intersection.
>Too bad we can't get the same level of political leadership for "preventing
>future pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries from collisions with
>cars" that we get for "preventing future deaths and injuries from attacks by
>dogs". One way a visionary politician could show this kind of leadership is
>by spending some political capital to develop a citywide traffic
>calming/traffic safety "Marshall Plan" with phased goals for reductions in
>pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and a "zero tolerance" goal by 2025.
>Until we have that kind of political leadership, watch out for pit bulls
>while crossing the street. Best-Jeremy
>From: Carfreeliving-request at livablecity.org
>[mailto:Carfreeliving-request at livablecity.org]
>Sent: Friday, June 10, 2005 11:01 AM
>To: Carfreeliving at livablecity.org
>Subject: Carfreeliving Digest, Vol 5, Issue 6
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> 1. sf weekly article (Mike Sallaberry)
>Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 10:51:32 -0700
>From: Mike Sallaberry <Mike.Sallaberry at sfgov.org>
>Subject: [Carfreeliving] sf weekly article
>To: "Carfree Living" <carfreeliving at livablecity.org>
><OF52D09F3A.0489F149-ON8825701C.00608FEA-8825701C.0062385F at sfgov.org>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Lately, I've had a feeling in my gut that we are indeed at a tipping point
>when it comes to getting bikes mainstream in SF. There seems to be so
>much going on in a number of different but inter-connected arenas these
>days, all pointed to one or both goals of getting people out of their cars
>and onto bikes. Pretty exciting! I hope we will continue to add to this
>And in a related note, I was recently thinking how my last few postings
>have been, shall we say, buzz-killers. My goal was not to squash
>enthusiasm or pour water on any well meant fires, but to promote
>accuracy...perhaps to a fault. There's a lot of energy out there to
>really push the transportation scene in the right direction, and while I'm
>all for this or that department/person getting criticized when criticism
>is deserved, I feel sometimes that that energy/focus is misdirected.
>Given the history of transportation engineering in the US, I can
>understand how people may still think DPT is the "bad guy" but I work here
>everyday and hear and see all the discussions and efforts to make this
>city's travelways work, and I'm actually really impressed by the level of
>mature and well-meaning efforts we make to make the travelways in SF work
>for everyone. So, it frustrates me when I hear misguided criticisms
>pointed our way. Like I said, if we deserve criticism, we deserve it, but
>when we don't, I'm not going to just sit there and take it.
>Having said all that, I know it's hard for folks to know all the details
>of what every department does. I do appreciate all the energy and well
>meaning efforts that people contribute to making this city more livable,
>and really, without those efforts, it would be so much more difficult, if
>not impossible, to get these positive changes in. So, thanks for all your
>efforts, and let's keep this train a rollin!
>Michael Sallaberry, P.E.
>Associate Transportation Engineer
>San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic
>25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 345
>San Francisco, CA 94102
>(415) 554 2351
>(415) 554 2352 (fax)
>Bicycle Hotline (415) 585-BIKE
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