Fixing dangerous San Francisco intersections a priority following 13 pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

So far this year, 13 pedestrians and cyclists have died on San Francisco streets. Now, walking advocates and politicians are starting to ask why can't these deaths be prevented.

Investigators are still piecing together the events that led to Saturday's deadly collision between a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Golden Gate and Hyde Streets and a Golden Gate Transit bus.

Supervisor Matt Haney says the intersection is notorious. "We know that particularly in the Tenderloin we have some of the worst streets and intersections for pedestrians in the entire city," said Haney. "This particular intersection where this man was killed has been a problem for a long time."

The supervisor says there are known dangerous intersections that would require relatively little money for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make safer. "This is something that is controlled by MTA We've set up a Tenderloin Safety Taskforce to really identify these intersections that need change," said Supervisor Haney.

Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy group, says Golden Gate and Hyde is just one notorious intersection in the city. There are many more that are known to be dangerous. "Absolutely, I mean the city knows which streets these are," said Marta Lindsey from Walk SF. "They are the ones with the maps showing where the highest injury streets and intersections are."

She says just one block away a truck driver struck and killed Janice Higashi in March.

Walk SF says since then the pedestrian lights have been changed to prevent pedestrians and cars from being in the intersection at the same time. "This is great. But, no one should have to die for us to add that to a street, especially at these really really busy known dangerous intersections," said Lindsey.

Supervisor Haney says he also wants to see more action protecting pedestrians and cyclists before tragedy strikes rather than after. "What I've been saying is since I got into office is, there shouldn't be any delay,' said Supervisor Haney. "This can happen right now, we can change these intersections doesn't cost much money. It's the right thing to do. "

The SFMTA says “We know that 75% of all injury collisions occur on only 13% of our streets.  We are proactively deploying our resources on those streets, including rolling out signal timing changes in these locations this summer following a process to identify funding, design and implementation.”