Increase Pedestrian Safety, Decrease Deficit
SFGate, the sister-site of the San Francisco Chronicle, reports on a new study that suggests that the city could not only save millions, but also improve the quality of life for some of the city's neediest residents:
Facing a $522 million budget deficit, San Francisco needs to look at every possible way to save money. A new study from the San Francisco Injury Center points to one place that could not only save millions, but also improve the quality of life for some of the city's neediest residents.
The issue is pedestrian safety. San Francisco is routinely cited as having the highest rate of pedestrian injury collisions of any major city in California. It is a sensitive topic for the Municipal Transportation Agency, which has any number of explanations of why those stats are deceptive. More people walk to work in San Francisco, for example.
But tell it to the 3,598 pedestrians who were injured between 2004 and 2008. They are the subjects of a study coordinated by Dr. Rochelle Dicker, director of the Injury Center at San Francisco General Hospital. In that period, Dicker found that pedestrian accidents rang up medical costs of $173 million, 75 percent of which were paid out in public funds.
The fact is, Dicker's study found, by focusing on improving safety in a relatively small area of the city - District 6, which includes the Financial District, SoMa and the Tenderloin - the city has the potential to save millions.