Thursday, January 09, 2014

City Hall has no credibility on accident numbers

Beyond Chron "grapples" with the recent pedestrian deaths on city streets:

According to Mayor Ed Lee's office, the number of pedestrian deaths in the city has remained around 15-20 deaths for the past decade, and much progress has been made since then-Mayor Gavin Newsome[sic] set goals for reducing deaths and serious injuries through the establishment of the Pedestrian Safety Task Force in 2010.

While activists argue there is a need for new attention to street safety, the San Francisco Police Department believes....that there hasn't been a noticeable increase in deaths to warrant any sort of panic that social media seems to garner. Activists want more action by authorities to tackle the issue and the two deaths on New Year's Eve may give backing to their calls for renewed strength in grappling with pedestrian safety.

However, police and other observers argue that while any death is a dark mark on the city, there needs to be an intelligent discussion over what is actually happening and the perceptions that have been created. "It can be difficult for police and other groups to educate people if there is a pre-conceived notion that it is becoming more dangerous to walk on the streets, when this is not entirely true," said the police official.

This reporter seems unaware that City Hall and city cops are relying on the city's Collisions Report when they claim that pedestrian injury accidents and fatalities have been relatively steady for years (see pages 17-26).

I have also argued that our streets are getting steadily safer over the years based on the city's numbers.

But the city has undermined its credibility by ignoring 1,377 injury accidents to cyclists between 2000 and 2009 as a UC study found by comparing police reports and SF General Hospital records. 

The city now needs to go back to SF General to find out how many other accidents---including pedestrian accidents---it has failed to include in its annual Collisions Reports. Until the city does that, we really don't know how safe/unsafe city streets are

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At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Bobby what if the numbers are higher than the city is saying.

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerry Seinfeld hates our freedom and our way of life.

"That I get to do on a daily basis? Probably walk to work. I think that's about the coolest thing that there is. Or take my bike. If you can walk to work or take your bike on a daily basis, I think that's just about the coolest thing that there is. Every morning I listen to the traffic on the radio, and they talk about how they are jammed and I just laugh. I love traffic. I love traffic reports because I'm not in any of them. "

-Jerry Seinfeld

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"So Bobby what if the numbers are higher than the city is saying?"

So what if they are? The numbers are what they are, and it's hard to make sensible traffic policy if you don't know what they are.

Just as important, the city looks at every street and intersection where there are a lot of accidents to see what can be done to make them safer. They can't do that without accurate numbers.

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great so I assume you support the funding of street improvements to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities?

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Which "improvements" are you referring to? Not everything City Hall proposes for city streets qualifies as an improvement. Just making it more expensive and difficult to drive in SF, for example, is not an improvement worthy of support.


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