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Pedicab driver’s death renews call for protected bikeway

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A group of pedicabs are seen available for hire near the Ferry Building on San Francisco's Embarcadero on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

A pedicab driver seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision late last month along The Embarcadero in San Francisco died Monday night, according to a spokesman at San Francisco General Hospital.

Kevin Manning, 66, died after suffering life-threatening injuries in the June 27 collision, hospital spokesman Brent Andrew said.

Manning had been a driver for the pedicab company Cabrio Taxi for six years, according to a GoFundMe page that was initially set up by his friends to help Manning’s family pay for his medical bills.

A statement on the GoFundMe page read:

“He is a father, a grandfather, a patent-holding innovator, and an essential member of our community. The San Francisco pedicab community is devastated by the news of the event.”

As of midday Tuesday, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $29,000, above the goal of $25,000. The page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/kevin-manning-hit-and-run.

In the wake of Manning’s death, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Wednesday released a statement, urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Port of San Francisco to make immediate improvements to traffic hotspots along the corridor and to commit to constructing fully protected bike lanes along the 3-mile stretch of The Embarcadero by 2022.

The busy street has been identified by the San Francisco Department of Public Health as a high-injury corridor. Between 2006 and 2011, 84 people were injured there while walking or biking, and two of those people died, bike coalition officials said.

According to the coalition, Manning’s death is a direct result of a lack of decision-making by the SFMTA and the Port of San Francisco to establish protected bike lanes and make pedestrian safety improvements.

Bike Coalition executive director Brian Wiedenmeier said in a statement:

“These kinds of delay tactics from the SFMTA and the Port of San Francisco are unacceptable and, frankly, threaten the lives of thousands who bike The Embarcadero every day. … The only answer to their irresponsibility is for the city to make immediate and urgent change.”

Today, SFMTA officials responded to the news that Manning died, saying in a statement:

“We express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Kevin Manning.”

SFTMA officials said they are committed to Vision Zero, a policy adopted by city officials in 2014 to work together to reduce traffic-related fatalities to zero by 2024, and are working to make streets safer.

The SFMTA statement said:

“We plan to announce a final design, including a two-way protected bikeway, for The Embarcadero this fall. In the meantime we are working with all Embarcadero stakeholders to capture their input in the final design, so we can proceed with environmental review beginning this fall.”

In the meantime, SFMTA officials said they will fund and implement near-term safety improvements along The Embarcadero.

Additionally, the SFMTA said it has already added 2.25 miles of protected bike lanes in other parts of the city within the last six months. They also plan to invest over $112 million into a total of 92 miles of bikeway projects in residential neighborhoods.

According to police, the collision happened around 4:15 p.m. along The Embarcadero at Sansome Street.

Manning was carrying a 32-year-old woman and her 5-year-old daughter in his cab, while another pedicab driver alongside him was carrying a 33-year-old man and his 8-year-old son.

A gold or champagne-colored four-door Honda Civic traveling south on The Embarcadero and allegedly swerving through traffic struck Manning’s pedicab, causing it to strike the second pedicab.

The suspect vehicle then fled and was last seen heading toward the Bay Bridge, according to police.

Manning was taken to the hospital, where he was initially listed as having life-threatening injuries.

According to the GoFundMe page:

“Kevin was thrown from his pedicab from the force of the car and hit his head. He sustained serious injuries to his skull, face and legs.”

The driver of the second pedicab was not injured.

The four passengers, all of whom were part of a family of Canadian tourists, were also taken to the hospital, all with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Police have released images and a video clip of the suspect vehicle in hopes that someone can identify it or the driver. Police are also asking anyone who may have been in the area around the time to check their cellphone videos, dash-cams or surveillance systems for any other possible photos or pictures of the suspect and their vehicle.

Anyone with information can call police’s 24-hour tip line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.

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