SF Tourists First to Benefit from Walking Plan

Locals unlikley to benefit from city's sudden devotion to ambulation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Jackson West
    San Francisco's pedestrian accident rate has inspired graffiti like this.

    Finally, someone in San Francisco has decided that safe foot traffic is a priority. Too bad it only applies to the tourists who frequent Fisherman's Wharf.

    The San Francisco Planning Department has finally unveiled plans for the first throughfare to give pedestrians priority, focusing on the intersection of Jefferson and Hyde.

    However, as one local blogger points out, "most locals avoid the area like the plague."

    San Francisco's pedestrians live in a tale of two cities, with nearly 800 perambulators injured by cars in 2007 alone. That's nearly twice the accident rate experienced by bicyclists.

    32 pedestrians were killed in 2007, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

    Those numbers make San Francisco the fourth most dangerous major American city for people simply walking around according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Lawyers have found it profitable to wait on busy corners to collect the gold coins tossed to the pavement by the car-driving aristocracy, with "san francisco pedestrian accident" turning up nothing by carriage chasers in a Google search.

    With an average of three pedestrians per day involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, those lawyers may have found themselves a recession-proof business.

    Jackson West jaywalks with calculated discretion.