SAN FRANCISCO - Residents in San Francisco are demanding safer streets for pedestrians, particularly families, following a recent tragic incident. A rally is planned for Tuesday evening at the intersection of 4th and King streets, where a 4-year-old girl was killed by a car.
The location of the rally is not far from Oracle Park, surrounded by grocery stores, apartment complexes, and a Caltrain station. Advocates argue that the presence of these amenities highlights the necessity for pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in the area, catering to those who predominantly travel on foot.
The advocacy group "Walk SF" is spearheading the rally at 5 p.m.
The executive director of the group, Jodie Medeiros, emphasized that the event aims to raise awareness about pedestrian safety concerns and to express the frustration stemming from the tragic death of the young girl just last week.
The child was struck by a vehicle while her parents were pushing her in a stroller earlier this month. A 71-year-old driver was arrested the next day.
Mayor London Breed has announced significant changes in response. The upcoming alterations to the intersection of 4th and King streets include the reduction of turn lanes, leaving only one turning lane onto King Street. Additionally, the traffic signal will be modified, featuring a yellow turn signal rather than solely a green light.
"I have directed the SFMTA to take immediate action to prevent this from happening again," Breed said in a statement. "We will continue to invest in and prioritize improvements to help prevent anyone, especially our children, from being hit, injured, or killed by a driver."
Breed noted that the city witnessed 39 traffic-related fatalities last year, marking the highest toll in over 15 years.
However, advocates contend that more comprehensive measures are necessary.
Medeiros highlighted the importance of addressing what they refer to as "transition zones" — areas where highways intersect with neighborhoods.
"Our city cant just fix this one," she said. "They really need to look all the other ones, what we call ‘transition zones.’ where you go from highway to neighborhoods, so lets sure those transitions zones are safe with people in mind."