Safety over speed was the message Monday morning as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed discussed how President Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill could impact safety in the city.
Pelosi started by not only emphasizing the great need for the dollars to ensure pedestrian safety, but also by providing a breakdown on how and where the money would go.
According to Pelosi, $14 billion would be distributed nationally to make streets safer, with more than $200 million heading to California for safe and accessible transport options.
Plus $7.2 billion nationally to improve bike lanes and trails.
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Pelosi and Breed were joined by members of Families for Safe Streets who shared stories of traffic fatalities, including one about Andrew Zieman, an elementary school aide hit and killed in San Francisco, as well as a woman who survived being struck in a hit and run on the Peninsula.
Breed said those examples show the importance of the act not only here but across the nation.
"Local dollars alone are not enough," she said. "We need help. And this infrastructure bill will not only help San Francisco, but this entire country, so that we can improve safety in our streets, especially in major cities like San Francisco, where you have seen a significant increase in people walking and biking."
Pelosi said she and her colleagues in Congress are committed to getting the bill passed, saying "we can’t give up or walk up from this commitment."
She added that she has hope Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat whose vote held up the bill, will find his way.
But, Chesa Boudin, the city’s district attorney, said he opposes the plan of having police flood the neighborhood.
“Right now in San Francisco, it's easier to get high than to get help. That must change now,” he said “We cannot simply arrest and prosecute our way out of the problems afflicting the Tenderloin and so many parts of our city.”
The board of supervisors still has to sign off on the mayor's plan. They'll take it up Thursday.