City lights up signals at deadly Sunset corner

A dangerous pedestrian intersection just got safer Monday afternoon after San Francisco flipped the switch on a traffic and pedestrian signal at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Yorba street Monday afternoon.

The intersection on Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street has had already one pedestrian fatality in February and two other pedestrian injures so far this year.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said 1,500 citations have been issued so far this year on Sunset Boulevard since the last pedestrian injury in March. He said there has not been a pedestrian collision with a vehicle since.

Lee said it’s time drivers on Sunset Boulevard stopped treating the thoroughfare as a freeway:

“If you ride along this Sunset Boulevard you can really feel that some individuals who are not going to pay attention will view and use this as a freeway. It is not a freeway. It is a major pedestrian and traffic thoroughfare that must be respected for all the modes of transportation.”

Lee said putting a traffic and pedestrian signal on Yorba Street was not the only part of new safety improvements along Sunset Boulevard.

The City reduced the speed from 35 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour. Drivers can also expect new traffic signals by the end of next year on Moraga Street and Wawona Street.

Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said the City has rallied over Vision Zero — a goal to have zero pedestrian and traffic fatalities by 2024:

“People shouldn’t die just trying to get school, get to work, just trying to cross the street.”

The total cost of traffic signals on Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street is $266,000, which includes the contract cost, design and construction. The total cost for the speed limit reduction is $5,000.

Lee also signed an ordinance to place a $500 million general obligation bond for transportation road improvements in the City on the November ballot this year. The ordinance was approved City supervisors earlier this month:

“This is the first transportation infrastructure bond that has taken place in this City since 1966.”

He said the bond measure, if passed by voters, will help fund critical programs for Muni and safety programs focused on City streets.

Of the $500 million, $68 million would go to pedestrian safety enhancements, $22 million for traffic signal replace and $52 million for complete streets projects such as new bikeways.

The mayor’s 2030 Transportation Task Force recommended the bond measure last year, which found that the City needed at least invest $10 billion in transportation infrastructure in order to meet current and future demands.

It will take two-thirds of San Francisco voters to approve the measure come this November.