Monday, December 17, 2007
Death Race 2007
Off the Polk Street entrance to City Hall, just below the Mayor's Office...
...there is a huge crosswalk with yellow flashing lights and occasionally a few motorcycle cops out to issue easy moving violation citations to people who don't stop for pedestrians.
However, there are no actual signal lights, which can confuse people who don't know the area and expecting people to stop for you as a pedestrian is always a risk.
Late this morning, Susan Leal, the head of San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission was hit by a vehicle while in this crosswalk, and supposedly thrown thirty feet through the air. She's currently at San Francisco General Hospital and is reportedly doing well. I asked about 40 people inside City Hall, from deputies to Supervisors' aides, if they knew any details of the accident, such as whether the car was going north or heading south of Market.
I couldn't find anyone in the building who professed to know anything, which seemed rather odd, even though Leal's PUC offices are on Market Street. Mayor Newsom recently announced he wants to kick Leal out of her job this coming year for unstated reasons, although a reasonable guess is that she somehow offended local crime syndicate Pacific Gas & Electric. Perhaps the poor woman was just upset after a particularly nasty meeting at City Hall and wasn't paying attention to the traffic.
Or it could be a case of yet another suburban commuter tearing through the Civic Center neighborhood with a cell phone glued to their ears, paying no attention to those annoying pedestrians. These same drivers try to run me down just about every day at the corner of Franklin & McAllister, oblivious to crosswalks and traffic signals.
Car culture really is toxic.