Changes coming to San Francisco intersection where 4-year-old girl was hit, killed

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Changes coming to SF intersection where 4-year-old was hit, killed
San Francisco officials say changes are coming to the 4th and King St. intersection where a 4-year-old girl was hit and killed by a car.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Amid the hustle and bustle of rush hour at the intersection of 4th and King in San Francisco, subtle reminders of a tragedy. Last week, a 4-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller was hit and killed by a car while crossing the street with her parents.

"No child should die in the crosswalk," said Jodie Medeiros.

Medeiros is the executive director of Walk San Francisco.

She spent the afternoon putting up flyers around the intersection ahead of a planned vigil for the little girl on Tuesday.

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"We are hoping for hundreds of people here, frustrated and rallying for the city to make some changes," said Medeiros.

Changes that the city says are coming.

In a statement, Mayor London Breed's Office saying SFMTA will improve the safety of the intersection with two main improvements.

First, by removing one of the southbound right-turn lanes from 4th onto King Street.

And second, by changing the traffic signal for drivers making a right turn - going from a green light to a yellow arrow.

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Things that Luke Bornheimer says simply aren't enough.

"Do we need thousands of people to be killed across our entire city to fix all of our streets?" he asked.

Bornheimer is a sustainable transportation advocate who says for the city has failed to improve street safety for years.

In 2022, 39 people were killed in traffic-related incidents across the city of San Francisco - the highest number since 2007.

"There's a focus on the individual intersection or street where that thing happened, instead of thinking more city wide and how we get more people to shift trips away from cars," Bornheimer said.

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Bornheimer isn't alone either. We talked to several pedestrians walking nearby, nearly all of whom say they've worried about their safety.

"Even when the light is green for me, it doesn't mean that I'm always going to have a right of way. It depends on how rushed the driver is on 4th Street," said Lenore Hamilton.

Beyond the changes to the 4th and King intersection, city officials say they're committed to creating a plan to make all problematic streets safer for pedestrians by the end of 2024.

A promise that advocates say, they want the details for.

"They've said they're going to do it, so now we want to see the plan. That's what we're asking for," Medeiros said.

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