Traffic Safety Advocates Taking Action Into Their Own Hands

The San Francisco Transformation Agency is tired of watching cyclists and pedestrians die while the city promises more Vision Zero improvements.

August 10, 2016, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Traffic Cones

ElectoneXSeries / Shutterstock

A group of safety activists came together to implement a DIY safety improvement project at Sixth and Mission in San Francisco "after the deaths of two bicyclists, Heather Miller and Kate Slattery, who were killed the evening of June 22 after being struck by hit-and-run motorists," according to Bryan Goebel.

The action involved placing cones along the street to create a bump-out at a notoriously busy intersection, where pedestrian infrastructure is deteriorating and often ignored by drivers.

The so-called San Francisco Transformation Agency, or SFMTrA, takes inspiration from "similar guerrilla actions in Seattle, Portland and New York," writes Goebel, in moving beyond the Vision Zero efforts of the city. "They point out that despite the city’s Vision Zero effort, which has a goal of ending all traffic deaths by 2024, 26 people have died in traffic collisions so far in 2016," adds Goebel.

In related news at the national level, Angie Schmitt reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), usually tasked with investigating train crashes and plane crashes, has finally taken an interest in cycling fatalities. The Systematic Failure blog first noted that NTSB would investigate the fatal crash that killed five people in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Schmitt adds the extra commentary that the NTSB is still missing a larger part of the point:

Some good might come out of this investigation, but how representative is this crash of the 700+ cyclist deaths in the U.S. each year? If the NTSB wants to make a difference for bicycling safety, it should examine the systemic causes of cycling fatalities.

Monday, August 8, 2016 in KQED

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Downtown Dallas

Short-Term Rentals Vex Dallas City Council

Residents complain that vacation rentals exacerbate the city’s housing shortage and bring traffic and noise to residential neighborhoods, calling on the city to impose—and enforce—stricter regulations.

May 17 - The Dallas Morning News

Traffic Safety Advocates

Traffic Fatalities Set Records as Pandemic-Era Road Carnage Shows No Signs of Stopping

An estimated 42,915 people died in automobile crashes in 2021, according to recent federal data. The increasing fatalities continue a trend that began with the outset of the pandemic.

May 17 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Driver Shortage Undercuts the Potential of L.A.’s Recent Bus System Redesign

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented a complete overhaul of its bus system in three waves over the course of 2021. A shortage of drivers for the system has made it impossible to implement that vision.

May 17 - TransitCenter

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.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.