Living the San Francisco Dream


Pedestrian Safety in San Francisco

Pedestrian safety in San Francisco is a hot topic, and with good reason.

poor visibilityIn 2013, 13 pedestrians were struck and killed on the streets of San Francisco; many others injured. In the first 6-1/2 weeks of 2014, 3 more fatalities have occurred, including one last night on Van Ness at Pacific Avenue.

Equally dangerous conditions exist in suburban areas, like El Camino Real in Atherton, Redwood City, San Carlos and elsewhere where fast-moving traffic doesn't expect pedestrians crossing the road.

As both an auto driver and a daily pedestrian I know how important increased awareness is, whether you live in San Francisco or elsewhere.

As a driver, I:

  • don't run yellow lights - expect pedestrians and bicyclists to start to cross the second the light turns
  • take extra care if vehicles in other lanes slow suddenly or are stopped - someone just might be crossing
  • try to expect the unexpected
  • realize some pedestrians and bicyclist wear dark clothing and are hard to spot especially on a dark, foggy or rainy evening

As a pedestrian, I make it a practice to:

  • wear light colored and reflective clothing at dusk, dawn, and night
  • carry a headlamp/flashlight at night - an additional way of helping me be seen more easily
  • look over my shoulder to make certain cars making turns are aware of me as I cross the street
  • try to make eye contact with drivers before I step out - necessary even if the driver has a stop sign. I might have the right of way, but I am the most vulnerable party!

Here's one last tip for bicyclists, and pedestrians alike -- acknowledge the driver who courteously gives the right of way (the law here in California) with a smile, a nod of the head, a wave. Reinforcing good behavior might just lead to more of it, making our streets safer for all.

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 8 commentsLottie Kendall • February 12 2014 10:42AM


Lottie - Pedestrian safety is a big issue these days and you've given some great tips that may just save a life!  Suggested!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) over 6 years ago

Last night's accident really struck home - it happened just 1 block from my place. I make sure to do everything I can to my evening city walks safe - including being as easily visible as possible!!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Lottie, a great post. Drivers here seem to be in such a hurry no matter the time of day. We have far more pedestrian fatalities in Phoenix than we should. There is barely a week that goes by that I don't see a near miss. I only walk in my neighborhood, I would never walk along some of the larger feeder streets it's just too dangerous.

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I know this isn't an issue only in San Francisco. We've had a rash of fatalities in December, January and February. They have certainly heightened my awareness, both as a driver and a walker/jogger.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Good morning Lottie. Some really great tips, but none that we can use right now in the Northeast. We're expecting a foot of snow today, so will work from home.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

Great tips and excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Big day,


Posted by Randy Shamburger, FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert (Movement Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Joe, hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. It will, eventually. Then--practice safety when out and about!

Randy, with 6 pedestrian deaths in December and another 3 already in 2014, awareness needs to be heightened.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

 Good evening, Lottie. I was totally blown away by the number of folks that would just walk out in the middle of the street and not even look up from their iPhone to see if a car was coming. Talk about the epitome of stupidity! Before I step out into a street I stop and look to make sure the car is going to stop. I guess the some of folks in California are just not that smart!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 6 years ago