Given ongoing delays in delivering street safety projects in a timely manner, recurring hearing - to occur every 60 days - will focus on progress and delivery of projects identified to help City achieve its Vision Zero policy goal of ending the epidemic of deaths on San Francisco's streets
San Francisco - Today Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for a recurring oversight hearing to ensure that the City is achieving its Vision Zero goals of ending pedestrian deaths on San Francisco's streets. The hearings will occur every other month and will focus on the progress and completion of both identified Vision Zero priority projects and other street safety projects that contribute to reducing traffic collisions with pedestrians. With the passage of two transit funding measures on November 4, funding for these projects will significantly increase, and efficient project delivery becomes even more important.
The city has struggled to deliver street safety projects in a timely manner, even when funding is available. Supervisor Wiener has focused for years on streamlining city processes for project approvals. For example, he authored legislation to reduce inter-departmental disputes by forcing departments to work through disagreements rather than simply say no. Similarly, he has pushed back against objections to street safety projects by the Fire Department.
"Vision Zero isn't just a promise or a policy statement - there are concrete steps we must take to make our streets safer for pedestrians and other users," said Supervisor Wiener. "With the passage of both Prop A and Prop B, San Francisco voters approved increased funding for implementation of these pedestrian safety projects. By staying focused on moving Vision Zero forward, we can deliver safer streets, more walkable neighborhoods, and a more sustainable future for our city."
At the hearing, the Municipal Transportation Agency and Department of Public Works will be asked to provide regular updates on pending projects: which have been completed, which are in process, which have been delayed, and why delays have occurred. The goal of the hearings is to keep these projects moving forward, provide transparency and accountability for any delays, identify systemic obstacles to efficient project delivery, and explore how to spur more projects toward completion. The hearings will also ensure that projects don't become trapped within interagency bureaucracy.
"Traffic injuries and fatalities plague our streets with three people hit by cars while walking every day," said Nicole Schneider, Executive Director of Walk SF. "Engineering safer streets is a well-proven strategy to achieve zero deaths, and Walk SF commends Supervisor Wiener for stepping up to make sure street safety projects aren't falling by the wayside. Oversight hearings will introduce greater transparency to engineering projects and processes, while also helping to identify issues that slow projects down. The transportation system needs to be designed to put all human lives first--above speed. Oversight hearings will ensure that the City is implementing proven strategies with the urgency deserved through the City's ambitious Vision Zero goal."
Proposition A, the $500 million transportation bond, provides significant funding for street safety projects and identifies specific projects. Proposition B, which Supervisor Wiener authored and which increases transportation funding to account for population growth, dedicates 25% of its funds to street safety projects. In addition to these two funding measures, voters rejected Proposition L, which would have shifted San Francisco's transportation focus away from increasing pedestrian safety in favor of promoting private automobiles.