Renewed calls for traffic safety changes in Bay Area

J.R. Stone Image
Monday, November 20, 2023
Renewed calls for traffic safety changes in Bay Area
Years after late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee helped launch Vision Zero, the city seems farther than ever from reaching their goal of no traffic deaths.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Nine years after then San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee helped launch Vision Zero SF, the city seems farther than ever from reaching their goal of no traffic deaths next year.

Local lawmakers say there are changes coming in the form of speed cameras.

Shoes, flowers, even a stroller in memory of those who died in traffic crashes in San Francisco and across the Bay Area.

"The car coming down Franklin flew up against the sidewalk and crushed him against the building!"

Richard Zieman's son Andrew was a para-educator at Sherman Elementary School in San Francisco. He was killed during that accident in 2021. Two years later and the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities has not improved.

"We hear nothing is better. The numbers are the same as last year and worse than the year before," said Zieman.

RELATED: Woman arrested in crash that killed SF educator

San Francisco police say they arrested a 70-year-old woman in a collision that killed a San Francisco teacher Wednesday morning.

"Last year was the worst since 2014, so we're at 16 pedestrians already this year. 22 total numbers of traffic related fatalities," said Jodie Medeiros of Walk SF.

Sunday night local and state lawmakers remembered the victims killed.

MORE: New law gives green light to Bay Area speed cameras signed by Gov. Newsom. Here's a look at reaction

State Senator Scott Wiener and numerous San Francisco Supervisors voiced their support for speed cameras, a tool that will soon be installed in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland for the first time.

"If you speed, if you engage in this reckless behavior, you will have consequences," said State Senator Scott Wiener.

MORE: San Francisco unveils new pedestrian safety efforts

Elizabeth Chavez's daughter Aileen was just five years old when she was killed while walking with family in a San Jose crosswalk near her school, Parkview Elementary, back in 2014.

Elizabeth fought back tears describing her shock when she learned that similarly, a 4-year-old girl was killed at 4th and King in San Francisco near Oracle Park earlier this year.

"Every day we hear that people are getting hit left and right but when they told me I was devastated. It was like reliving again what had happened," said Chavez.

MORE: 4-year-old girl run over, killed by car while visiting San Francisco from out of town

Police are investigating a fatal pedestrian crash involving a 4-year-old and their parents near Oracle Park in San Francisco.

"Nobody should have their life cut short and to see a family who was visiting from Korea who left the country with a death certificate and not their daughter, that is unacceptable and so we are angry, we're sad, but it's anger that is going to get things changed," said Medeiros.

Many here are also hopeful that city leaders invest in making physical changes to the infrastructure at dangerous intersections across the area.

MORE: Vision Zero strategy aims to keep San Francisco streets safe

Elizabeth says so much more needs to be done because the pain of losing a daughter is something that never goes away.

"The only thing they provided us was a black and white bow and a dollar and they had found it right next to her. She was holding it right in the palm of her hand and it was right next to her," said Chavez.

"Just slowing down the speeds, Andrew was killed in a school zone and there is no reason someone should have been driving that fast through a school zone. And I don't even think that person was driving faster than the flow of traffic, they were all speeding you know. That should never have happened," said Zieman.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live