Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sup. Wiener Silent on Second
Pedestrian Fatality in the Castro

(RIP: Bill Cox. Credit: David Douma and Clyde Wynne, via SF Streets blog.)

The San Francisco police yesterday told the public and press that a pedestrian, Bill Cox, was fatally struck by an SUV at the 14th and Noe Street intersection yesterday morning in the Castro neighborhood. It is the second pedestrian death in the Castro in the last three weeks. On August 22, Emily Dunn was hit by a Muni bus and died at the scene of the accident.

Details surrounding Cox's death were shared by the SF Streets blog this morning:

According to San Francisco police, Cox was in the crosswalk on 14th Street at Noe around 10:39 a.m. when he was run over by an unidentified driver behind the wheel of a Ford SUV who had been southbound on Noe, and was making a left turn onto 14th. Cox underwent two operations and despite the best efforts of trauma surgeons at San Francisco General Hospital was pronounced dead at 5:36 p.m., becoming the 10th pedestrian to be killed on the streets of San Francisco this year.

When Dunn's death received widespread attention and sympathy from area residents, I noticed and blogged about Supervisor Scott Wiener's missing in action status. He eventually noted Dunn's demise with a bland three-sentence post to his Facebook page and omitted her name:

This is terrible. My heart goes out to the victim and her family. I know that Muni and SFPD will perform a thorough investigation and take appropriate action.

Today, Wiener has said nothing about Cox's death in his district on his Facebook page, or at his personal site, or on his Twitter feed, or at his Board of Supervisors page, as of this writing at 4 PM.

However, he has shared this message on Facebook and his personal site, and a link to the SF Chronicle story today about homeless folks and tourists:

I think we've all probably noticed the up-tick in aggressive panhandling in SF. We have laws against it that need to be enforced, and people need to be educated not to reward this bad behavior by giving money.

A reminder. Wiener this week introduced needless legislation regarding naked butts and he had plenty to say about the "problem" of nudity in the Castro. Last heard, no one was killed by a bare-assed person walking around the neighborhood.

But we now have the second tragic killing of pedestrian in Wiener's district, marking the tenth such fatality citywide for 2011, and his silence is deafening. Completing his MIA status on Cox's death yesterday, Wiener was not quoted by the SF Streets blog, the SF Chronicle and the Bay City News stories.

Among the comments at the Chronicle site was this one from someone with the name Mercurius:

I was a friend of Bill's. At this point we have very few details about the accident. One thing can be said for certain however. The Castro area needs a major traffic over haul. I've seen far far too many close calls. Scott Weiner is trying to make political hay out of harmless naked men, when he should be working on fixing the dangerous traffic situation.

I'm not worried about men sitting down naked, I'm worried about being run down like my friend was! In some cases such as Noe and Market drivers are given a green light sending them straight into pedestrians crossing on a walk signal. Someone will die there if they have not already.

Why is Wiener so MIA about both pedestrian killings in his backyard? What up with his silence about holding a community forum or two to hear neighbors' concerns about the needs of pedestrians? Will two fatalities be enough to motivate him to act and address the deaths, the reasons behind them and how to prevent any more pedestrian fatalities?

The Castro's supervisor needs to start addressing these problems.

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