Upgrades safen deadly China­town inter­section

Pedestrian safety improvements are underway where Pui Fong Yim Lee was fatally hit by a vehicle near the Stockton Tunnel in San Francisco’s Chinatown on the morning of Sept. 20.

Lee, 78, was struck and killed at the intersection of Stockton and Sacramento streets. Police arrested 40-year-old Calixto Dilinila for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Reports said Dilnila was making a left turn onto Stockton Street from Sacramento when he hit Lee.

A vigil was held by residents Wednesday at the intersection. Supervisors David Chiu and Jane Kim attended the vigil along with Transportation Director Ed Reiskin.

Reiskin said the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has several improvements planned for the intersection later this month.

Those include a four-second leading interval to give pedestrians a head start before vehicles get a green light, larger signal bulkheads and a new yield to pedestrian sign for cars making a left turn.

The transit agency will also be increasing the existing daylighting from 10 feet to 12 feet on westbound Sacramento Street. Daylighting is a safety measure that removes parking spaces near cross walks so that drivers and pedestrians have better visibility of each other.

The City adopted this measure in its Better Streets Plan in 2010, which states that parking spaces should be at least 10 feet away from cross walks.

Other improvements on the way include new zebra-style cross walks in November, a temporary bulb-out at the southwest corner of the intersection possibly by December and a bulb-out on the northwest corner of Stockton Street by 2016, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.

Rose also said that staff is exploring the possibility of putting a scramble at the intersection, which would allow pedestrians to cross at different directions at the same time.

The announcement of these improvements comes a day after supervisors received an update on the City’s Vision Zero projects and enforcement efforts on Tuesday. Vision Zero is the City’s plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2024 by implementing safety projects at high-injury pedestrian and bicyclist corridors, which includes Stockton Street.

So far the SFMTA has completed eight of 24 projects it said it would implement by Jan. 2016.

SFPD Commander Mikail Ali also updated supervisors on enforcement efforts on Tuesday. He said the number of traffic fatalities so far is lower this year compared to 2013, which had a total of 34 traffic fatalities — 21 of those fatalities were pedestrians.

Ali said there have been total of 20 traffic fatalities so far this year with 12 of those being pedestrians:

“Although we are not at zero, we are definitely moving in the direction of.”

He also said the number of citations issued to drivers as of Aug. 31 increased by 62 percent compared to the same last year.

Ali said enforcement has focused on the five risk factors that cause collisions, which include running red lights, speeding and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

The next Vision Zero update is in December.