Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back To School: City Aims to Clear Conscience on Children's Street Safety

It's that time of year when parents send their children back to school and pray their kids can traverse the car dominated streets they've bestowed on them, unscathed.  Fortunately, the city has come up with some things to make themselves feel better, since speed limits, crosswalks, lights/signs and actually witnessing children on the streets just doesn't cut it.

And while motor vehicle crashes remains the leading cause of death among young children in the country, and driver distraction is at an all time high, the city will remain committed to safetyesque things while allowing unfettered street access to motorists.  The city police also threw out a bone, saying they will "be writing tickets to try and prevent disaster" a statement which is sure to comfort parents who have witnessed the driving habits of San Francisco motorists every day.

San Francisco "steps up" enforcement, because seeing vulnerable children on the street isn't enough to stop motorists from speeding, ignoring crosswalks and stop signs.
Image found here.
In addition to all the existing laws in place that have been around since the inception of the motorized vehicle, there will be at least 193 crossing guards staffing 187 corners at 95 schools citywide. Though there's little data on whether or not crossing guards do much to save the lives of our most vulnerable people on the streets, the tradition will continue.  One concerned resident said, "Whatever we can do to to make ourselves feel better that we're making a difference in the lives of children" and then sped off in her SUV while sending a "#SFsafetyfirst" tweet.

People with no actual power to enforce laws, stand by children with high-viz vest and stop signs in hopes of squeezing out some measure of humanity from motorists.
image found here.
Even Mayor Lee has gotten into pandering safety in the midst of car dominance, saying, "Drivers need to be more aware of traveling at safe and appropriate speeds, especially near schools where children learn and play,"  The Mayor plans on saying other nice fluffy things until statistics catch up and a life is lost, in which case he'll reiterate the same thing only in a much sadder tone.  In additional saying nice things, the city also plans on telling children how to maybe be safer by staying in "magical paint" and watching the light turn green and waiting 2-3 seconds for cars to pass, then weaving around cars in the crosswalks.

As cars zigzagged around one of the crossing guards, he said, "We're doing the best we can, and that's really all we can hope for.  I mean do you really expect people to drive reasonably knowing that our most precious resources are crossing the streets of San Francisco?  How ridiculous would that be?" as he chuckled to himself, with a visible tear in his right eye.

Signs like this will be all over SF to help people feel better about the city they created for their children.
image found here.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of my child's school. They are truly an environmental beacon of hope. Every month (!) parents are asked to give up driving or only drive within a few blocks of school and then walk, Muni, or roll the rest of the way. My child's school is so very green, as is San Francisco. Of course, it's a hardship for me to walk instead of drive with so many errands to run (trips to the gym, yoga, pilates, my favorite organic vegan restaurant...). I really care about the environment and I especially care about my kids. My family has two SUVs to keep them safe and since one of them is a hybrid I can be proud that I'm saving the planet!