Is San Francisco Dangerous for Pedestrians?

pedestrian danger chart image

Source: Dangerous By Design
It's the Jungle Out There!
San Francisco is definitely pedestrian-friendly in many ways compared to many cities, but being walkable doesn't always mean that it is safe. A new report by Transportation for America ranks the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area 13th safest for walkers, based on an index that takes into account annual pedestrian deaths and the percentage of workers who commute by foot. Our friends at Streetsblog SF dug deeper and found that things are worse than they first seem: "47.7 percent of all traffic fatalities in San Francisco are pedestrians, more than four times the national average of 11.8 percent. The rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents is 2.60 in San Francisco, 70 percent higher than the national average of 1.53."
dangerous by design image

Source: Dangerous By Design

Of course, a lot more people walk in SF than in the "average" city in the US. But even when you compare SF to other very walkable cities like Chicago, Portland, New York, Seattle, and Boston, you find that things are worse there.

By another measure, San Francisco is definitely trailing in improving pedestrian safety: while the report found an average of 1.5 percent of federal transportation spending is focused on pedestrian and bicycle safety, Champsee said San Francisco is spending only 0.5 percent of its federal transportation dollars on that purpose (MTA spokesperson Judson True said he couldn't immediately confirm that number.)

"MTA keeps saying, 'Yes, this is the amount we spent directly on it, but in all the other stuff we do, like road repair, there's a bunch of pedestrian stuff we roll into it,'" said Pi Ra of the Senior Action Network. "We keep saying, show us."

We probably have many readers in San Francisco. What has your experience been walking around the city? Does it feel dangerous to you? Anything obvious that the city should fix to improve things? Please let us know in the comments below.

Via Dangerous by Design (pdf), StreetsBlog, Transportation for America
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