Hayes Valley Public Safety Meeting Recap December 2020

Focus Topic: Traffic, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

  • SFPD Traffic Division, Lt. Luke Martin
  • Walk SF, Jodie Mederios
  • Bicycling in Hayes Valley, Tom Radulovich
  • SFPD, Northern Station, Lt AJ Holder & Sergeant James O’Malley


  • SFPD Traffic Division has 40 Officers.  10 are on duty at one time. 
  • WALK SF is the leading pedestrian safety promoter in the city.  A new program for them is San Francisco Families for Safe Streets.  This is for families impacted by pedestrian accidents.
  • Some bicycle safety tips:   Learn defensive cycling.  Stay out of door zones.  Be very careful passing on the left. Car drivers be very careful opening your door to watch for bicyclists.  Cars should be stopping and parking in bike lanes. There are 62 SFPD officers that are bike trained. 
  • Departments/division are very well aware of the ‘areas’ that are plagued with safety issues/marked as dangerous
  • Signage remains a top recommendation by most for public awareness
  • Electric modes of biking present a new realm of conditions and challenges as we look ahead
  • All panelists agreed on a major safety improvement—SFMTA should designate safe pickup spots and more use of white zones.
  • There was a group consensus that SFMTA Traffic Engineers need to play a lead role in assuring pedestrian & bicycling safety.  They need to look at ways to reduce volume and speed through public outreach campaigns. 
  • Most effective solutions fall in the SFMTA engineering category; SFMTA is currently overwhelmed at this time.

Sergeant James O’Malley was live blogging. Here are his comments from the meeting:

SFPD Northern Station is conducting a DUI arrest and traffic collision case as we speak ! Fulton and Webster

The DUI person caused the collision and This particular traffic violence has also led to the discovery of a large amount of illicit narcotics that were possessed for sale to poison the community!

SFPD Northern is constantly making arrests for driving while their privilege is suspended, driving while unlicensed and DMV fraud issues like fake temporary license plates (TLPs) and so on!

In most of the cases we impound the vehicle for these transgressions which takes a small bite out of the sheer amount of reckless/careless drivers on our streets! Zero tolerance for traffic violence!

SFPD Northern is always taking opportunities to educate drivers/peds/cyclists regarding poor behavior and habits – those police actions frequently lead to a summons to traffic court esp when the behavior is particularly egregious or careless.

Just as an aside, there have been times where our Officers are enroute to a call of violence when a traffic violation occurs in their presence. I’ve seen the frustration on the peds/motorists/cyclists that were impacted by the offender but rest assured we are not ignoring the violation, we just have to get to the domestic violence or robbery type call.

Lfyt and Uber drivers constantly block an entire lane of traffic, when an open driveway or parking space exists for them to use. I have given literally hundreds of education and warnings for these folks over the years. We’d like to see them be more considerate to others: peds/bikes/motorists.

There’s hundreds of vehicles code violations occurring on all sides. Behind every collision is a violation of the vehicle codes. I’m hopeful that Lt Martin can gain extra staffing for a major safety campaign!

Franklin and Gough Street had long been roads used to bleed out daytime commuter and population swell. That way the city could return the neighborhood to a normal traffic pattern as fast as possible. but that didn’t mean drivers could exceed the speed limit and the timing of the lights on those streets were designed to regulate speeders and, not allow for it to become a freeway.

I wasn’t sure my chats were going through. I think I found my niche ! Happy Holidays all!