State grant to help San Francisco further 'Vision Zero' goal to stop traffic deaths

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The San Francisco Department of Public Health announced Thursday it received a grant from the state to help with the city's Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to eliminate all traffic-related deaths in the city.

The $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety will help fund a year-long program that seeks inform some of the people who walk and bike in the city the most.

That includes multi-lingual communities, communities of color, homeless individuals, marginally housed residents and service providers.

Through community engagement and outreach, and educational activities on pedestrian and bicycle safety, the health department will target communities on the city's high injury network, where 75 percent of traffic related deaths occur.

Those streets, health department officials said, make up 13 percent of the city's streets. The streets are also mostly located in communities where more low-income residents live.

"In order to achieve our Vision Zero goal, we must understand and address the traffic safety concerns of our city's most vulnerable residents," the public health department's Director of the Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability and Vision Zero Co-Chair Megan Wier said in a statement. "This funding from the Office of Traffic Safety provides key support to deepen our work to address equity through outreach to communities who are not always able to attend or participate in public meetings, yet are often most impacted by severe and fatal pedestrian and cyclist injuries on our streets," she said.

In 2017 San Francisco had the lowest amount of traffic-related deaths since the city began keeping records in 1915. Of the 20 traffic fatalities in 2017, 70 percent were made up of pedestrians while two were bicyclists.

The city adopted the Vision Zero initiative in 2014, seeking stop fatalities connected to traffic by 2024.