Lack of Traffic Safety Enforcement Blamed for Vision Zero Failures

Education, engineering, and enforcement are the three "e's" of Vision Zero in San Francisco. A lack of on of those "e's"—enforcement—might explain why more people are dying on the city's streets this year that any year since the city adopted Vision Z

1 minute read

September 2, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Bike and Bus Lane

December35 / Shutterstock

San Francisco is five years into a ten-year Vision Zero goal, according to an article by Heather Knight, but traffic fatalities are rising on the city's streets. So far in 2019, "22 people have lost their lives on the city’s streets. That’s one less than died in all of 2018 and two more than died in all of 2017." That total includes 15 pedestrians. Another five people have died on freeways located in the city.

"[The city is] on pace to surpass the 31 deaths in 2014, the year Vision Zero began," adds Knight.

Looking for answers to the question of why San Francisco is backsliding on traffic safety, Knight identifies a lack of traffic enforcement as a likely culprit.

"New figures obtained by The Chronicle show the San Francisco Police Department is ticketing far fewer drivers for illegal behavior behind the wheel than it did the year Vision Zero was adopted," according to Knight. The neglect of traffic enforcement "could be explained by too many unfilled vacancies in the department’s traffic division and ever-changing leadership of the crucial unit."

The article includes more information about the lack of traffic safety enforcement, including data specific to the kinds of tickets written and in which neighborhoods.

Friday, August 30, 2019 in The San Francisco Chronicle

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

Vacant storefront in historic building on Powell Street in San Francisco, California

Few Landlords Pay San Francisco Vacancy Tax

Less than 3 percent of properties potentially subject to a new vacancy tax were filed as vacant in the last year, but empty storefronts in the city persist.

3 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of manufactured home being dropped off or moved by red truck in mobile home park

In Spite of Affordability Crisis, Richmond Rejects Manufactured Housing Plan

After declaring a housing crisis, the Virginia capital’s city council voted against a proposed manufactured home warehouse that would distribute replacements for aging manufactured housing stock.

5 hours ago - Greater Greater Washington

Graphic for '1000 Joys of Planning' with The Planning Commission Podcast

A Planning Commission Podcast Journey: The 1,000 Joys of Planning

The Commissioners explore the facets of the planning profession that fill their cups with joy.

7 hours ago - The Planning Commission Podcast

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.