SF Group Marches, Holds Vigil For Victims of Traffic Deaths - NBC Bay Area
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SF Group Marches, Holds Vigil For Victims of Traffic Deaths

Dozens gather to advocate for safer streets and eliminating bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities

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    People carried pictures of loved ones and shared stories about what happened to them as dozens gathered Sunday in San Francisco to mark World Day of Rememberance for road traffic victims in the city. Christie Smith reports. (Published Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016)

    People carried pictures of loved ones and shared stories about what happened to them as dozens gathered Sunday in San Francisco to mark World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims in the city.

    The march and vigil also served as reminders to residents and city officials that there is an alarming need to make the streets of San Francisco safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

    The group rallied in front of City Hall, which was lit up yellow to honor the vicitims.

    One event organizer said while improvements are happening on city streets, they’re still not safe enough.

    "We’re here to get changes made," said Julie Mitchell, whose 21-year-old son Dylan was riding his bike to work on 16th Street when he was hit and killed by a truck.

    Victims' family members and survivors marched from the Mission district, part of a new group called San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets. They advocated for Vision Zero, a collaborative program to end traffic deaths in the city by 2024.

    "Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a decline in serious or fatal crashes," said Nicole Ferrara of Walk SF. "What we need is more robust and gutsy policies and street design changes."

    The group also pushed for automated speed enforcement or speed safety cameras, which are currently not allowed in California.

    "We’re all pedestrians at some point," said Alvin Lester, who attended on behalf of his late son Arman.

    "As he was leaving the skateboard park and he was about walk to a relative’s house, he was struck from behind and killed," Lester said, decribing his son's tragic death. "This could happen to anyone, any family member."

    The group is not only working with officials in San Francsico; they also are making an effort to work with lawmakers in Sacramento.

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