After a series of three bicyclist accident fatalities in San Francisco, bicycling groups in the city have been calling on officials to implement more stringent safety measures.
In an open letter to the Mayor, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition calls for more bicycle-friendly streets, that come with more infrastructure to help reduce the risk of injuries to bicyclists. In 2013 so far, there have been three bicycle accident fatalities in the SOMA neighborhood, including one that occurred on August 14 this year. In the latest accident, a female bicyclist was killed when she was hit by a truck while she was riding a bike.
According to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, there have been certain similar characteristics among all these fatalities. All of these accidents occurred either in or near the SOMA neighborhood, and all the accidents involved large commercial truck. What is even more distressing is that in each case, the truck driver who was involved was not cited, or charged with a crime.
According to the letter, the SOMA neighborhood is fast becoming an expansive community, where many people live and work, and therefore this neighborhood deserves to have appropriate bicycle infrastructure that consists of more than just freeway-on-ramps.
The letter also suggests a number of short-term as well as long-term measures that can be used to help reduce the risk of accidents. For instance, as an emergency bicycle safety measure, the San Francisco Bicycle City Coalition is calling for the painting of all bike lanes green, especially in some of the most dangerous areas that have been the sites of numerous accidents. The Coalition is also calling for the installation of convex mirrors on large vehicles like trucks to increase driver visibility, as well as safety programs for truck drivers.