SFMTA announces traffic safety proposal after family of 4 killed in West Portal

Luz Pena Image
Friday, April 19, 2024
SFMTA announces traffic proposal after family killed at bus stop
After a family of four was killed at a bus stop in San Francisco's West Portal, the SFMTA is announcing a proposal for traffic safety changes.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A month after a family of four was killed at a bus stop in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood, the city's Transportation agency is announcing a proposal for traffic safety changes.

"This has been a high conflict intersection in the fact that three train lines converge along with buses and a very high volume of pedestrians," said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA director.

Tumlin confirmed the agency was directed by Mayor London Breed and West Portal's supervisor Myrna Melgar to come up with immediate changes. On Thursday, that proposal was announced.

"Cars would be restricted from traveling through the Ulloa And West Portal intersection and again, what this does is that it prioritizes people going to shop in the West Portal district and it supports significant pedestrian safety by eliminating all the left turns," said Tumlin.

RELATED: Hundreds attend vigil for parents, child killed in SF West Portal crash

West Portal merchants and residents learned of the changes last night. Some believe the changes will hurt businesses.

"This is a half-baked plan - there is not data behind it," said Deidre Von Rock, president of the West Portal Merchants Association. "It is devastating. We are constantly under construction on SFMTA and every time something happens, business goes down because people cannot get here."

Von Rock views the urge to make changes as a political strategy pointing to both Mayor Breed and Supervisor Myrna Melgar campaigning for reelection.

"The accident, horrible tragedy that it was. It didn't happen in the intersection. It was up the street. I think that it's clearly a politically motivated ploy to say to their constituents, their supporters 'hey look we did something'," said Von Rock.

VIDEO: 2-year-old baby, parents killed in SF West Portal bus stop crash identified

A 1-year-old baby and his parents killed in a horrific bus stop crash in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood have been identified.

Business owner Lisa Moore is concerned that blocking cars from accessing Ulloa from Claremont Avenue will kill businesses. She is asking for more data before any changes.

"I asked SFMTA why there is this sudden change and in fact, are there statistics that show that this intersection is dangerous - and do we have a disproportionate amount of injuries, accidents and the answer was no," said Lisa Moore, owner of Siren Boutique.

We asked SFMTA's director for the data.

"We have received complaints about this intersection for decades. A lot of the data that we are using is that conflict data that stretches back for many, many years," said Tumlin.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said a change here is long overdue.

RELATED: Infant's organs donated to save other children in need after entire family dies in SF crash

"We think that the turn restrictions are a good starting point but we need to see the physical infrastructure that we know will keep pedestrians safe. Folks who are entering and exiting buses and Muni are incredible vulnerable," said Rachel Clyde with the SF Bicycle Coalition.

In the meantime, business owners who also live in the area say they are gearing up to respond.

"We have 10 days to let anyone know that we are not happy with this. The neighbors and the merchants will be rallying in support and send letters to the mayor, to Supervisor Melgar," said Von Rock.

SFMTA said they will hold several community meeting in the coming weeks before presenting the proposal to the SFMTA board of directors.

Changes could happen as early as this summer.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

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