Advocates rally for pedestrian safety improvements after 4-year-old hit, killed by car in SF

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Advocates rally for change after child hit, killed by car in SF
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Many at the rally on Tuesday want San Francisco to redesign hundreds of especially dangerous intersections to make them more pedestrian friendly.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Calls for change in the form of strollers at a San Francisco rally Tuesday. Neighbors and activists all demanding for action after last week's deadly car crash. A 4-year-old girl was killed while her parents were pushing her in her stroller at the crosswalk of 4th and King.

News of the girl's death has especially impacted Julie Nicholson, who spoke at the rally.

Back in 2020, Nicholson broke her back and neck after being hit herself by a speeding driver on a San Francisco street.

"It hit me, I thought I was going to die. Flew about 30 feet. Landed on the ground," she said.

Advocates say last week's accident is just another example of how deadly San Francisco's streets can be.

In 2022, 39 people were killed in traffic related deaths - the highest number in 15 years.

Many at the rally want the city to redesign hundreds of especially dangerous intersections to make them more pedestrian friendly.

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

"The urgency isn't there. We have the basic infrastructure for 900 intersections that haven't been done yet. Why?" said Jodie Medeiros of Walk San Francisco.

A goal SFMTA says they need more money to do completely.

"We're going to be making at least some changes on all of those streets. And, meanwhile, we're looking at other known locations like this one here where there are two lanes of traffic that are turning right across a crosswalk," said SFMTA's Jeffrey Tumlin.

The city says it is taking more immediate action, though.

RELATED: 71-year-old driver arrested in SF crash that killed 4-year-old girl in stroller: Police

At 4th and King, they plan on reducing the number of right-turn lanes and installing a yellow turn arrow to replace the current green light.

Officials say they also want the state to pass a law installing more speeding cameras.

"If somebody is speeding off the highway onto a residential street, they should just get a ticket in the mail. And when they get enough, maybe they'll learn not to do that anymore," said Supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Until then, advocates like Nicholson say, they'll keep fighting to make the streets safer for everyone.

"I want our city leaders to say enough. Never again. You heard us say, never again."

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