Saturday, September 10, 2011

WalkSF Mute on Second Pedestrian Death;
100 Annual Injuries and Fatalities?

If you depended exclusively on WalkSF's site for facts on the deaths of pedestrians Emily Dunn and Bill Cox in the Castro, you'd wouldn't know any details on either fatality. Their site omits reference to the deaths.

How the heck can an advocacy group for safe walking be mute on the fates of Dunn and Cox? A statement noting the deaths and extending condolences to the survivors of the victims should be a key element to this group, and just the start of engaging the public about how the deaths fit into the larger picture of safe streets in San Francisco.

The WalkSF site also shares alarming stats involving cars and pedestrians without a single link to the source of the figures (emphasis mine), that unfortunately recall the 1999/2000 hysteria stats of AIDS Inc on HIV infections in the city that were similarly unsourced. 

Our city needs clear commitments and deadlines to encourage walking and protect pedestrians. In San Francisco, 800 people are hit by cars every year; 100 people are seriously injured or killed. If we want to fight climate change and improve public health, we need to make it safer and more fun to walk. There’s no time to wait.

Yes, I agree with the last point. The time is now to put forward demands for political and civic action starting in the Castro because that is where the two most-recent deaths happened, out of a total of ten so far this year. FYI, that figure of ten pedestrian fatalities comes from the SF Streets Blog.

I'd like the sources behind WalkSF's stats and call upon them to present seriously injured stats separate from killed numbers. No more combined number for totally different categories. Provide a service to the community, present current stats and link to the source of the data is good engagement with the public and needed immediately.

WalkSF's opening page is mostly a rudimentary blog and was last updated on August 29, with details for an art gallery opening that will benefit the group, giving me a sense they're not very active about current news of any sort.

Given the Dunn and Cox deaths in the Castro, WalkSF could provide valuable leadership calling upon Supervisor Scott Wiener to organize a public forum on what lead to their demise, what is being done to expand walkers' safety, and invite public transit officials to listen to concern and worries of pedestrians. Click here for info on Wiener's disengagement on these matters.

Between WalkSF and Wiener, a crisis is going to waste.

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