Tuesday, January 9, 2018

PSAC resolution urging the Board of Supervisors to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted by pedestrians while using any mobile electronic device while crossing streets

WHEREAS, the rise in cell phone distracted walking injuries parallels the eight-fold increase in cell phone use in the last 15 years (National Safety Council 2015), and

WHEREAS, the Governors Highway Safety Association 2017 report finds that both drivers and predestrians who are distracted by smartphones are less likely to be aware of their surroundings; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings (National Safety Council 2015); and 

WHEREAS, a Stony Brook University study in 2011 documented the effect of texting on navigation while walking and found it significantly more dangerous than talking on a cell phone; and

WHEREAS, one in 10 pedestrian injuries is now related to distracted walking and that distracted walking causes more accidents than distracted driving, even if the severity of injuries is lower (University of Buffalo 2014); and

WHEREAS, A professor at William Paterson University conducted a study of more than 21,000 pedestrians at five of the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan and found that nearly half of pedestrians crossing on a “DON’T WALK” signal and about one-third crossing on a “WALK” signal were distracted while wearing headphones, talking and/or looking down at an electronic device (Journal of Community Health 2015); and

WHEREAS, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who has acknowledged that distracted walking is a factor in increased pedestrian deaths and injuries, has awarded grants totaling $1.6 million to Louisville, New York City and Philadelphia for safety programs, noting that, “We’ve got to encourage people to have an awareness that this problem is a real problem” (Pew Charitable Trust Stateline, Dec. 11, 2014); and

WHEREAS, Jurisdictions as varied as City of Honolulu, the State of Utah, Fort Lee, New Jersey, Chicago, New York City, Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania have either passed laws, or are contemplating to, pertaining to pedestrian distracted walking in crossways; and

WHEREAS, New York State has recognized the problem of distracted walking and has passed legislation which "Directs the department of transportation of the city of New York to study and report on its efforts to educate pedestrians and drivers on the dangers of pedestrians being distracted by use of a mobile device" (Sept. 3, 2017); and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has recognizes that distracted walking is a growing and serious concern (Make Walking Safe:  a brief overview of Pedestrian Safety (WHO/NMH/VIP 13.02)); thus be it 


PSAC urges the Board of Supervisors to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted walking by pedestrians using any mobile electronic device while crossing streets.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Draft Proposed PSAC Resolution Requesting Converting Lower Stockton Street to a Pedestrian Mall

Whereas construction for the Central Subway has required elimination of all traffic from Lower Stockton Street, formerly south bound only, with one lane for the Muni 30 Stockton route and two traffic lanes from Sutter to Market Street, for six years, with the exception of traffic to the Union Square Garage; and during this time the adjacent Union Square District, San Francisco’s premiere shopping/theater/hotel area, and the Chinatown shopping district, north of the Stockton Street Tunnel have both continued to prosper, and

Whereas during the Central Subway construction period the ‘3O’ Stockton south bound bus has been detoured to Mason street adding many minutes and inconvenience to the route while south bound general traffic dispersed to cross Market, and the northbound 30 bus and most general traffic moved on Kearny Street to Sutter Street to the Tunnel, unaffected by construction, and

Whereas before Lower Stockton Street was closed down for subway construction these four intersections averaged about seven injury collisions per year and during the construction shut down injury collisions were reduced to about four per year and the difference was not due to no automobile traffic on Stockton but was due to to turns on to Stockton, in addition the Muni bus had about three collisions per year before the shutdown, and

Whereas during the last five yearend holiday shopping periods subway construction on lower Stockton was essentially stopped to allow the conversion of most of the street level to Winter Walk, a festive traffic free green carpeted mall which was greatly appreciated by shoppers and children, and

Whereas the SFMTA has prepared a proposal for Lower Stockton, after subway construction is completed, which includes: a twenty two foot wide sidewalk on each side of the street, suitable for special events and pedestrian amenities; a twelve foot wide bus lane, which greatly segregates buses from moving traffic minimizing future Muni collisions and improves transit reliability; no turning traffic at intersections, which improves pedestrians safety; two five foot wide bicycle paths, which is necessary because nearby downtown streets currently have no bicycle lanes and also provides room for a bus to pass a disabled bus and ample yellow, white and blue parking zones around the corner from Stockton Street, for deliveries to stores, the drop off of passengers and access for the disabled, and

Whereas this proposal is supported by the Union Square business community because similar designs of traffic free malls combined with transit are working well and producing increased business activity in many American and foreign cities, and

Whereas an exhaustive traffic study shows that while returning lower Stockton Street to the former configuration, before the start of Central Subway construction, would add about a 1,000 cars an hour to south bound capacity, this traffic when added to the increase in downtown traffic, since the start of construction would result in no new net additional capacity to leave upper Stockton Street because the traffic would bog down soon after it crossed Market Street before it got to the freeway, now

Therefore the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Resolves to support the SFMTA Lower Stockton Street proposal and urges rapid implementation of the Proposal to improve: pedestrian and bicycle safety and amenities while improving transit and commercial prosperity.

Jan 9 2018 Agenda

PSAC Agenda
January 9, 2018
City Hall, Room 400, 6PM

1) Call to Order (2 minutes)

2) Roll Call (5 minutes)

3) Approve Agenda (2 minutes)

4) Approve November Minutes (5 minutes)

5) General Public Comment (10 minutes)

6) PSAC Election (15 minutes)
     a)Thomas Rogers

7) SF Police Department Reporta)Sgt. Embody (10 minutes)

8) Better Market Street (20 minutes)a)Simon Bertrand

9) SFMTA Reporta)Victoria Chong (10 minutes)

10) Stockton Street Resolution - Action Item (10 minutes)

11) Distracted Walking Resolution - Action Item
      a) Evy Posamentier (10 minutes)

12) North Beach Neighborsa)Stuart Watts (7 minutes)

13) Vision Zero Update 
       a)Stuart Watts (8 minutes)

14) Chair's Report

15) Future Items

16) Adjournment