© 2021 KALW
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Walk Steady: Securing Safe and Walkable San Francisco Streets

Host: Joseph Pace

Producer: Judith Sansone 

At some point in our day, most of us are pedestrians walking the 7x7 swatch of land we know as San Francisco. The city’s relatively small size, temperate weather, and inviting neighborhoods make San Francisco inherently walkable.

Yet statistics tell a very different story. San Francisco is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians nationwide with over 800 people hit by cars here each year--that’s between 2 and 3 pedestrians a day.

 In one of his last acts as Mayor, Gavin Newsom signed an executive directive setting ambitious goals for reductions in pedestrian injuries and fatalities over the next decade. As a result multiple city agencies have been tasked with coming up with a unified and coordinated approach to improving pedestrian safety that looks at re-engineering our streets, enforcing traffic laws for motorists and pedestrians alike to gathering data and raising public awareness.

We’ve gathered several of those individuals whose jobs it is to make San Francisco safer for pedestrians as we ask:

 What makes a city that appears so walkable so unsafe?

Are some neighborhoods more dangerous for pedestrians than others?

What measures can be put into place to improve safety and encourage walking?

 How are local agencies responding to this issue?


  • Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, Director of Environmental Health with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
  • Dahianna Lopez, Prevention Director with the San Francisco Injury Center at UCSF. 
  • Timothy N. Papandreou, Deputy Director of The SFMTA Sustainable Streets-Long Range planning and Policy.
  •  Elizabeth Stampe, Executive Director of WalkSF, a member-based pedestrian advocacy organization.City Vi