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San Francisco recently announced the roll out of three new fire trucks, with five more on the way, that are designed to better maneuver the city's streets.
"The new engine, one of eight that will be deployed in the city, is ten inches shorter than the old trucks it is replacing, and can make a u-turn in just 25 feet," reports Roger Rudick. Those kind of vital statistics should excite anyway who has ever sought traffic safety improvements only to be told that narrow streets don't allow for safe passage of fire equipment.
Fire trucks have been a hot button issue in San Francisco since at least 2014, when "then-Supervisor Scott Wiener called on the fire department to design trucks to fit the city, rather than demanding that streets be designed to accommodate fire trucks," according to Rudick. Since then, the San Francisco Fire Department worked with Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on the design of the new trucks.
While San Francisco seems to have achieved a measure of success on the issue, the fire department still controls the street engineering department debate in most cities. Previous coverage from Planetizen provides more background on the controversy: