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Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee
City and County of San Francisco
Minutes for Tuesday, June 8, 2010
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
1 Dr. Carlton Goodlett Place (Polk Street), Room 408
Start Time: 5:30 p.m

Present Members:

    • Rothman (CHAIR)
    • Hunter
    • Strassner
    • Lopez (SECRETARY)
    • Lee
    • Supawanich
    • Clark
    • Ehrlich
    • Rhoads
    • Nardella
    • Pelfrey

Excused Absence:

    • Lidell
    • Smith
    • Lowell

1. Agenda for June 8th Approved

2. Meeting Minutes for May 11th Approved

3. Safe Walking: An Environmental Right or a Utopian Fantasy?

a. Presenters: Dr. Rhajiv Bhatia and Ms. Megan Wier (SF Department of Public Health; Environmental Health Services Branch)

b. PowerPoint Presentation posted here:

c. Highlights Statements/Questions from PSAC Members:

i. Dr. Bhatia: SF has not identified one particular agency that is responsible for pedestrian safety. Who is responsible for pedestrian safety in San Francisco?

ii. Paul Supawanich: What do you envision being most effective towards improving pedestrian safety? What can the city do now?

1. Response (Dr. Bhatia): Comprehensive neighborhood traffic calming in any area that is residential; calm to 20 mph within 10 years. Also, perhaps CEQA can require dangers from traffic to be assessed.

iii. Pi Ra: What was the purpose of generating your forecasting model? Do the transportation agencies use your model?

1. Response (Dr. Bhatia): For CEQA. There are stepping stones to achieving its adoption by agencies. The practical issue is that using the model would make it difficult to implement changes as fast as possible because of the necessity for further analysis by the City. We are also using the model for Health Impact Assessments, such as road pricing policy proposals.

iv. Jay Lee: With regards to Vision Zero or Home Zone, have they been evaluated?

1. Response (Dr. Bhatia): Vision Zero is a vision. Home Zone has been evaluated in the United Kingdom. If environmental quality is improved, the quality is increased and there is also increased economic value.

v. Kevin Clark: Wouldn’t the SFPD be in charge of protecting pedestrians?

1. Response (Dr. Bhatia): There are many agencies working on pedestrian safety and there is a gap in accountability. Specific agencies have not been identified.

4. Public Comment:

a. Bob Planthold:

i. As Co-Chair of CalPED, we are working on a summit in the fall concerned with pedestrian safety data. More pedestrian data factors could be helpful for better analyzing injury.

ii. As Co-Chair of CaliforniaWALKS, SF should get involved with political leadership. Please look into AB 909.

5. Walking Signals:

a. Howard Strassner:

i. City of SF is being “harmed” by the requirement to have actuated buttons.

b.  Oliver Gajda: Pedestrian Signal Guidelines state that Caltrans requires the new signals in state roads to be fully actuated. There should be a dialogue with Caltrans. Some engineers have also stated an interest in having countdowns that do not have to be actuated by pedestrians. It would be helpful to have a small subcommittee to have this conversation with the engineers from Caltrans. Caltrans has the final authority on their facilities and installments.

c. Resolutions:

i. PSAC resolved at to request that push buttons not be required to get a normal walk signal and count-down at any San Francisco signalized intersection so that all pedestrians receive the benefits of the count-down signals.

1. Public Comment: Bob Planthold—contact state legislators and not just the Board of Supervisors. The reason Caltrans is doing this is because it is inexpensive. You will need state pressure.

ii. Other resolutions will be re-worded by Howard Strassner prior to being presented to the PSAC. 

6. SFMTA Staff Report

a. Reorganization at SFMTA: Oliver Gajda’s function will remain the same; bicycle and pedestrian programs are now all Livable Streets. An organizational chart will be released at a later date.

b. Safe Routes to School grants due soon; we would like a letter from PSAC supporting SRTS.

c. WalkSF has provided SFMTA a draft of a report they are working on and it would be great to hear from WalkSF re: the report.

7. Taskforce Reports – Tabled until next month (not enough time).

8. Chair’s Report - Goal is to have the report ready by the next meeting so that it can be taken to Supervisor Chu’s Office

9. Meeting adjourned at 7:01 PM

Notes by Dahianna Lopez, RN (PSAC Secretary)

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