Safety by the Numbers Update
(This article appeared will appear in NOPNA’s Feb/March Edition)
The San Francisco Chronicle recently declared 2017 the safest year for traffic fatalities in the city’s history. The proclamation was a step towards the city’s goal of cutting traffic fatalities to zero by 2024, but just how safe are NOPA’s streets and what work is there still to do?
NOPNA recently completed an updated analysis of traffic collision data made available through the Vision Zero initiative. This data, which spans 2005–2016*, provides specific information about traffic incidents including location, street conditions, time of day, and cyclist or pedestrian involvement.
The data points to a decrease in traffic collisions overall, particularly those involving pedestrians and cyclists. When collisions have occurred (such as the fatal collision in October of 2017), they have largely taken place in areas where high volume auto traffic intersects with pedestrian and cyclist paths in our neighborhood (i.e., Divisadero, Masonic, and Fell/Baker and Fell/Masonic intersections). The intersection of Fell and Masonic has been historically dangerous for cyclists (25% of all cyclist-involved collisions), although the last five years have shown a clear improvement. The busy commercial Divisadero intersections at Fell and at Hayes remain dangerous to pedestrians (likely due to a failure of drivers to yield right of way). Meanwhile, incidents on residential streets have remained minimal despite concerns over a growing traffic presence caused by ride sharing services, navigation apps (e.g., Waze), among other factors.
These data point to an overall increase in safety corresponding with safety measures put in place over the last five years (e.g., protected bike lanes, bulb-outs, pedestrian refuges). Continued engineering and education, paired with increased enforcement, will support NOPNA’s priority of making NOPA a safe and welcome destination for all residents and visitors.
Note: Partial data is available for 2017 though NOPNA felt it was not sufficient for a year by year analysis.
Graph 1: Collisions in our neighborhood over the years. (Area bounded by Divisadero, Masonic, Fell, and Turk) Source: SF Department of Public Health
Table 1: Total Collisions from 2005-2017 (Numbers in parentheses show collision total for 2016 and 2017)