Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Traffic deaths nationwide and in SF

Soon after motorized transport entered city streets, fatal crashes rose. In the face of appalling and rising death figures, many adjustments occurred over a 30-year period. None of these changes involved urban form; they were inevitably operational and regulatory (e.g. lane markers, stop signs, driving rules, etc).

In the U.S. during the first decades of the automobile’s presence on city streets, car accident rates fell rapidly even though car travel tripled between 1920 and 1955...

Rob's comment:

You can see this trend verified in the history of San Francisco traffic deaths in New York City’s Pedestrian Safety Study and San Francisco Datapages 5-7, though there were some dramatic spikes, when more than 100 deaths a year on city streets were common. 

One reason for a decline in accidents in SF: red light cameras at intersections. See page 7 in the last---and apparently final---Collisions Report by the MTA.

Last year was typical of recent years: 28 deaths, 16 of which were pedestrians, which is also typical. Typical too: pedestrians are often responsible for their own fatal accidents; peds themselves were responsible for 8 of the 16 deaths last year. All three cycling deaths were due to the negligence of the cyclists themselves. 

See pages 19 and 20 of the Collisions Report on pedestrian fatalities.

One reason San Francisco has a lot of pedestrian deaths: people walk a lot more in San Francisco than they do in other cities. See page 11 here.

As Commander Ali said earlier this year, traffic deaths in SF are because of "really, really bad behavior” by motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.

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At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, how many bikers ran over and killed pedestrians this year? How many pedestrians collided with other pedestrians and died?

Interesting how you just act like the amount of deaths is ok, especially considering some were 'responsible' because they may have been careless or in a rush like anyone only they're the ones who will die, not get a minor traffic fine for killing someone.

The city owes it to the many pedestrians in the city to limit the things that are killing people in the city and make walking safer in the city.

As you get older your reaction times will only get worse and these safety initiatives may very well save your life. Look at the CDC statistics on the elderly & transit,

At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how the professional bike advocates are all shifting careers and talking points to "pedestrian safety" issues. Could it be that the disappointing bike usage numbers are making Leah Shahum and others jump ship and seek new public funds for pedestrian issues instead of bikes?
Question, why do they want to remove the below grade Geary Blvd underpass and pedestrian bridges, so that pedestrians can be put at the same level as cars?

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Interesting how you just act like the amount of deaths is ok, especially considering some were 'responsible' because they may have been careless or in a rush like anyone only they're the ones who will die, not get a minor traffic fine for killing someone."

No, death is not okay. What the numbers show is that traffic safety is improving nationally and locally over the years.

But to hear the SFBC and Walk SF tell it, there's some kind of growing emergency on city streets and of course their choice of villain is the motor vehicle, even though pedestrians and cyclists often are responsible for their own accidents.

Instead of analyzing every injury accident on city streets to find out the cause, the city is now simply declaring every busy street in the city a "high-risk" corridor.

What needs to be done: Since the MTA has more than 5,000 employees, it could/should assign a team to analyze every accident on city streets to determine who/what caused it, which would then lead to practical steps to avoid future accidents.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

And there's this reality about being a pedestrian in San Francisco: That New York/San Francisco study I linked above (see page 11) shows that people in SF walk a lot more than in any other city, except LA, where pedestrians have more safety problems than we do.

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

trying to have a vision zero by making the congestion worse is asinine. there are other things we could invest in, like better public healthcare, that would save many more than 28 lives. meaning a more lives saved for fewer dollars without making congestion worse


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