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Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee

City and County of San Francisco

Minutes for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

1 Dr. Carlton Goodlett Place (Polk Street), Room 408

Start Time: 5:30 p.m.

Present Members: 

• John Ehrlich, D-2

• Delvecchio Finley, D-9

• Jay Lee, At Large

• Dahianna Lopez, PH (SECRETARY)

• John Lowell, CA (VICE CHAIR)

• David Pelfrey, D-4

• James Rhoads, D-5

• Richard Rothman, Senior (CHAIR)

• Raymon Smith, D-6

• Paul Supawanich, At Large

• Howard Strassner, Transit


• Mark Benjamin, D-8

• Andrew Bley, D-7


• Katy Lidell, PSO

• Pi Ra, PSO

• Kevin Clark, D-1


• Maurice Growney, Assistant Engineer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (filling in for Oliver Gajda, Pedestrian Program Manager).

*Effective February 2010, Mark Benjamin was removed from his duties due to at least three consecutive absences to PSAC meetings; thus, there are now 15 appointed members in PSAC.

*No Quorum on this day; only 11 members were present.

1. Approval of the Agenda

2. Sunshine Taskforce – Cancelled

a. Sunshine Taskforce representative could not attend

3. Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) – Representative Burt Hill:

a. We have more in common than any other two committees

b. PSAC and the BAC need to increase its inter-committee communication; PSAC has open invitation to attend BAC meetings

c. Background on BAC:

i. BAC has been highly effective

ii. BAC reports to the Board of Supervisors, but much of the work is done directly with the SFMTA

iii. BAC has been working on a “Bike Plan,” which has been under an injunction that has recently been partially lifted

iv. Currently, BAC has approval for 10 “simple” projects:

1. For example: Bike Lanes which are too close to traffic, should have a yellow colored lane

d.  Recommendations by Mr. Hill:

i. Draft a joint resolution between BAC, PSAC, Senior Action Network (SAN), and other stakeholders to endorse a joint resolution (see handout).  

ii. There are “5 E’s” that we use to categorize our efforts to improve bicycle safety: Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Encouragement, and Evaluation. One criticism is that we do not focus sufficiently on the other E’s aside from engineering. For example, San Francisco should prioritize enforcement.

iii. We need to operate based on data. The city lost a “great deal” when the funding was cut for the annual “Profile of Injury” report published by the San Francisco Injury Center—we really need that report.

iv. Another recommendation is to look at the dash lines at the end of bike lanes; it appears that no one understands them; perhaps replace those with share posts; and then evaluate those replacements.  

v. Questions?

1. Mr. Pelfrey (District 4):

a. We still have a bike seat on PSAC—is there a pedestrian seat on the BAC?

b. If we want to work closely together, it would be great to “share seats”

2. Mr. Strassner (Transit):

a. Minutes should be shared between two coalitions

3. Ms. Lopez (Public Health):

a. How much have we measured the effectiveness of the 5 Es?

i. Answer from Mr. Hill: We should look at MTA for those answers; but we should definitely assess the impact of the 5 E’s.

4. Mr. Supawanich

a. Has MTA taken any actions to evaluate the new bicycle facilities that have recently been installed in light of the partial lifting of the bicycle injunction? As an example, the new bike facilities on Oak Street and on Scott St?

i. Answer: Not formally, but the SFMTA typically will go through a formal process and apply for grants to do a more formal study. At this point, since the facilities are relatively new, there have been no significant studies completed. However, informal counts have been taken by the SFMTA.

vi. Closing Remarks from the Chair, Mr. Rothman: Maybe you can come back in April to follow up with the PSAC.

4.  Review of the Sunshine Rules:

a. Mr. Rothman (Chair) contacted the city attorney to ask what constitutes a quorum for committees and subcommittees. According to the City Attorney, 12 members constitute a quorum in either committee.

i. Comments:

1. Mr. Strassner disagrees with this statement.

2. Mr. Smith suggests that Mr. Rothman brings the PSAC bylaws to the next discussion with the District Attorney.

3. Mr. Pelfrey: Section 67.4 suggests that PSAC may be a passive advisory committee—so requirements may be somewhat relaxed

4. Mr. Rothman: Given that the Board of Supervisors appoints PSAC, we are not a “passive” committee.

5. Mr. Lee: There is a difference between the majority of the committee vs. the majority of the appointed members of the committee. The broad definition discourages public participation—is there a way to request an official clarification?

6. Mr. Supawanich: What can we do in order to get achieve seat attendance that exceeds 12 so that we can conduct business at the meetings?

b. Group’s Consensus: To follow the rules of operation and to have a PSAC that is well organized.

5. Item 4: Mr. Pelfrey --- we do not have a quorum and I’d like to table it (piezoelectric).

a. Feedback from MTA, as reported by Mr. Pelfrey:

i. Jurisdiction over streets is fractured; we should recommend that the different agencies come together to evaluate piezoelectric

ii. He will send some links to studies so that we can all be more informed about it the next time he discusses it.

6. Item 5: Walk to School  (Context: Board of Education is proposing two options to parents of school-aged children attending public schools in San Francisco; per an email sent by Mr. Gajda: Option 1: Parents can choose from any city school. Once a school is full, names would be placed in a lottery system. Academic performance would determine school assignments, with low- and high-performing students mixed. Option 2: Students would be kept in schools close to   home. Parents would be allowed to choose other schools, but only if there is availability.)

a. Mr. Pelfrey: If we recommend option 2, we would keep kids from going to more diverse schools

b. Mr. Ehrlich: We should not recommend anything because this is about education and not so much about walking

c. Dahianna: If we recommend option 2, we may fail to look at the issue from a multifaceted perspective. Given than public schools are funded by property taxes, supporting option 2 would mean increased walking to a poorly funded school. Although not a parent, Ms. Lopez would prefer a child who walks less but has access to a better school. Perhaps the compromise might be to recommend physical education regardless of the option that is chosen.

7. Mr. Rothman’s Chair Report:

a. Mr. Rothman reviewed duties of the committee

b. He plans to have PSAC write a mid-year report to the BOS

c. He met with Mr. Gajda (SFMTA), Mr. Lowell (Vice-Chair), and Ms. Lopez (Secretary) and discussed the following:

i. Short term and midterm goals for PSAC

1. Set up taskforce

2. Collect statistics

3. Synthesize information

4. Write report

d. He also has tried to recruit for the unfilled PSAC seats

1. Talked to one of the school board members about filling the two school seats

e. He asked the Secretary, Ms. Lopez, to send letters to dismiss those people who have stopped attending PSAC meetings for at least three consecutive months (i.e., Seat 8).

f. Mr. Rothman stated that Mr. Gajda would like PSAC’s involvement in making recommendations about pedestrian projects funding under MTA

g. Mr. Rothman, Mr. Gajda, and Ms. Lopez attended the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Pedestrian Safety Summit on January 29, 2010 in Oakland, CA.

8. Announcements:

a. Mr. Rothman asked the committee members to speak briefly about their backgrounds:

i. Mr. Pelfrey: Architect; interest in piezoelectricity, bicycle, and pedestrian safety

ii. Mr. Strassner: Has been involved in pedestrian safety activities since 1994

iii. Mr. Finley: Hospital Administrator; participated in Leadership San Francisco and learned be a steward of the environment via participation in city commissions; interested in pedestrian safety

iv. Mr. Smith: Interested in pedestrian issues.

v. Mr. Lowell: Member since August 2006; was victim of auto-versus-pedestrian collision; currently studies in the seminary

vi. Mr. Supawanich: Transportation Planner; works with public agencies on pedestrian and bike/non-motorized

vii. Mr. Ehlrich has been on multiple advisory committees

viii. Mr. Rhoads: Pedestrian; has worked on pedestrian issues in the past; has been a long time member of Walk SF

ix. Mr. Lee:  Attorney; Interested in pedestrian safety

x. Mr. Rothman: Has always had an interest in public transportation issues; was on advisory committee for half cent sales tax; worked on transportation issues when he worked for San Francisco General Hospital

xi. Ms. Lopez: Registered Nurse; Currently the Prevention Director for the San Francisco Injury Center at UCSF; works on multiple pedestrian injury prevention research projects as well as violence prevention an mental health projects.

9. Public Comment:

o Marie Hunter

§ Students and walking to school: option 1 seems to go against the Safe Routes to School Initiative--- please consider this when drafting any recommendations.

Minutes Composed by Dahianna Lopez, RN (PSAC Secretary)

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