On Tuesday, December 31, 2013, what were you doing?
Universally known as New Year’s Eve, you most likely used this day to review the good and the bad of 2013, remembering what you did right and noting things that could have been done differently. Perhaps you were trying to fit in some last minute fun before the New Year.
However, Sophia Liu, 6, and Zhen Guang Ng, 86, did not share this agenda. Sophia Liu was hit by a car in a crosswalk at Polk and Ellis. Zhen Guang Ng was run over by a car in a crosswalk at Rolph and Naples. Both were killed as a result of the accident the day before the New Year.
Collisions caused by motor vehicles that result in the deaths of pedestrians are common in San Francisco- an average of 900 pedestrians are hit by automobiles annually. These collisions have focused attention into making San Francisco a pedestrian-friendly city. These efforts include the previous Mayor Gavin Newsom’s executive directive that called for significantly reducing the number of fatal injuries in half by 2021 and the current Mayor Ed Lee’s $17 million contribution throughout the next five years to “various pedestrian safety improvements.”
Despite the city officials’ efforts to improve the safety of pedestrians and reduce the number of fatal collisions, it seems the efforts are slow in motion. Nicole Schneider, executive director of Walk San Francisco, states that all the planning to improve safety is great but the action behind the planning is lacking. As a member of the Board of Directors of Walk San Francisco, Shaana Rahman is committed to reducing the number of pedestrian collisions.
While city officials work to turn San Francisco into a truly pedestrian friendly city, let us, drivers and pedestrians, contribute by taking part in Mayor Lee’s “Be Nice, Look Twice” public awareness campaign.