Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:
Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.
So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.
Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.
Like I say, a half-assed approach.
Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.
It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:
Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.
The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.
And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.
For example, there’s this:
“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”
So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.
The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.
And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?
So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.