Articles, NOPNA

Safety – By the Numbers

(This article appeared appeared in NOPNA’s June / July Edition which can be located here)

On busy nights, Divisidero, Masonic, and other NOPA streets are filled to the brim with tourists, date-goers, bike-commuters, and families. With so many pedestrians and bikers on the road, it’s no surprise that traffic safety is a major concern (only confirmed by the recent VisionZero Survey). However, the traffic data needed to pinpoint major hazards and therefore to give insight into necessary safety solutions has been scarce – until now.

NOPNA recently analyzed traffic data provided by the city dating back to 2005. Although collisions have dropped by 40% from 2012-2015 (around 12% a year), pedestrian and bike collisions remain a major concern – 40% of all collisions in the last 12 years have involved either a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Of the 74 collisions involving pedestrians, most occurred in a crosswalk with 70% of those caused by a failure by the driver to yield right of way to the pedestrian. Predictably, the most common intersections for these collisions were popular pedestrian areas – Divisidero between Fell and Turk or Masonic between Fell and Hayes. For bikers, most collisions occurred at stoplights with Masonic and Fell Streets as the most common locations.

Though reminders to look both ways before crossing may seem tired, vigilance remains the most important deterrent of traffic collisions. As our neighborhood continues to grow in popularity, and the number of bikers and pedestrians rise, NOPNA will continue to look at additional safety improvements to slow traffic, protect intersections, and deter other forms of unsafe driving.

Source: City of San Francisco, Traffic Data, 2005-2015