ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Veterans say new San Francisco crosswalk is dangerous

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War veterans, many of them disabled, say a new safety measure built in San Francisco's Presidio is actually making things more dangerous for them. (KGO-TV)

In a story you'll see only on ABC7 News, war veterans, many of them disabled, say a new safety measure built in San Francisco's Presidio is actually making things more dangerous for them. At the center of this is a new crosswalk where cars speed past. It was put in as part of the new Doyle Drive improvement project.

Robert Webb is an Army veteran who is sight impaired. He lives at the Presidio Veterans Academy, along with about 100 others. Many of them are senior citizens and disabled just like him.

Right across the street is Girard Road and a new crosswalk, compliments of the giant Doyle Drive project.

But Webb avoids it at all costs.

"It took a while for me to cross because people weren't generous in letting me cross," he said.
Swords to Plowshares, a veteran's support group which runs the academy, has tried for months to get Caltrans or the Presidio Trust to install traffic controls but to no avail.

"Well, this is where we're at, so we turned to you," said the property manager.

When Caltrans expanded Doyle Drive, it created a new on and off ramps to Highway 101 just off Girard. The street went from a sleepy two lane road to four lanes. And with that came lots of traffic. Fast traffic. There's also no stop sign or signal. Not even a speed limit.

Navy veteran Tom Tobin is also sight impaired.

"At night, it's like dodgeball over here," he said. "They think it's an extension of the freeway at 60 miles an hour."

So to catch his bus, Webb and many other vets now walk uphill where Girard dead ends on Lincoln Boulevard. It's a much safer crossing, but grueling for people with physical disabilities.

The property manager showed us a mock up video of the original plan for the new Girard Road, which had traffic signals in both directions. He says they took the lights out of the plans, and he's not sure why.

The Presidio Trust tells ABC7 News that they turned the complaints over to Caltrans and the Doyle Drive Project.

Caltrans did not return ABC7 News' calls on Friday.

Related Topics:
trafficdrivingHighway 101caltransveteranveteranspedestrian walkwaypedestriansSan FranciscoPresidioDoyle Drive
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