Thursday, July 27, 2017

Vision Zero and traffic accidents in San Francisco

Visionzero
Hoodline

My comment to yesterday's story in Hoodline (To Aid 'Vision Zero,' City Releases New High-Injury Network Map):

From the looks of this map, it might be a better idea to make a map of streets that aren't unsafe. This looks like every busy street in the city is supposedly dangerous.

The problem is the city's claims about accidents and safety lack credibility---or can be verified independently, since we know nothing about these accidents, how they happened or who was responsible. Apparently the city is on track to have a typical number of fatalities this year regardless of the Vision Zero fantasy.

We need to know more about these accidents: did they happen because of poor street design or were they because of "a lot of really bad behavior" by everyone who uses city streets, as Commander Ali pointed out several years ago:

Recall that the Vision Zero slogan passing for a policy was adopted after the city failed to even count many cycling accidents as reported by the New York Times four years ago:

The NY Times did the city a favor by reporting on that study that showed how the city failed to count many accidents treated at SF General: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go...

Neither the SF Chronicle nor the SF Examiner has done a story on the UC study.

The city had the same problem counting pedestrian accidents as a previous UC study showed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go...

What we really need is for City Hall to analyze every injury accident on city streets to show the public exactly why they happened and what, if anything, can be done to prevent future accidents. 

Maybe someone at the MTA or in the Public Health Dept. is doing that now, but that information needs to be made public to provide the public with some confidence in the validity of these maps and demonstrate some credibility in the city's ability to even count traffic accidents.

Rob's comment to his comment:
"Approximately 50 percent of the patients seen each year at Zuckerberg San Francisco General’s Level I Trauma Center are people injured in traffic crashes,” said DPH director Barbara Garcia in a statement. "San Francisco is leading the nation with this new analysis," she added. "For the first time in the United States, a major city is linking hospital data with police collision reports."

So why not share that nation-leading analysis with the citizens of San Francisco?

The city surely has the manpower to study every traffic accident in the city, since as of 2015 the MTA had 6,263 employees and Garcia's Public Health Dept. had 7,769.

The only real issue is about making those studies public

The city doesn't want to do that because the studies would show that most traffic accidents have nothing to do with street design or any of the other "improvements" the city is now making to city streets under Vision Zero.

Declaring every busy street part of a "high-injury" network gives the city a blank check to do whatever it wants to city streets by invoking safety concerns, which it does, by the way, whenever it wants to create a bike project on a busy neighborhood street.

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