Pedestrian injured this morning on Masonic. Photo: Matt Smith
A 35-year-old woman was struck and seriously injured this morning by a red-light running motorist traveling on Masonic at Grove. The motorist struck the woman and continued through the intersection colliding with other vehicles, according to Capt. Denis O'Leary of SFPD Park Station. Tomorrow morning SFPD will place officers along Masonic to enforce the 25 MPH speed limit and to cite motorists who fail to stop for red lights.
The woman was jogging and in the crosswalk at about 8:30 a.m. when she was struck by the motorist. Capt. O'Leary said her injuries were extensive. "She was taken to the hospital. She has two broken legs, head injuries, and internal injuries," he said. "She needs our thoughts and prayers."
The motorist stopped -- or was stopped as a result of the collision with other vehicles. No arrest and no citation resulted. O'Leary explained that California law does not permit officers to give citations unless they witness the incident. A "notice of violation" can be given but that action often follows a conference with the station sergeant. O'Leary said he would check into the status of such a citation. He stated that a Traffic Division officer, rather than one from Park Station, filed the police report.
First reported by Matt Smith of SFWeekly, the collision and injury is one of several that have occurred on Masonic. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has installed a number of traffic calming measures in the last nine months, but additional steps promised for early this spring have yet to be taken.* These include re-striping badly faded travel lanes and including directions for motorists to merge where the number of lanes on Masonic change, and painting 25 MPH on the street surfaces. Yet many observers and city planners agree that significant risk reduction will only result when Masonic is re-designed to better cue motorists to drive within the speed limit and when changes are made to increase safe travel for pedestrians and bicyclists as well.
As previously reported, a Masonic traffic calming plan -- dubbed the Boulevard -- is expected to go to a public hearing in May or soon thereafter. Today Javad Mirabdal, project director of the Masonic re-design study, confirmed that a hearing in May remains possible. "We don't have a date yet," he said, "but we're trying to bring it in May." Mirabdal presented the Boulevard plan to a Citizens Advisory Committee last week. He said they are taking the necessary steps moving toward the hearing and, hopefully, approval.
After hearing of this morning's collision and injury, Cheryl Brinkman, a member of SFMTA's Board of Directors, said she intended to do everything she can to support traffic calming on Masonic.
"It's heartbreaking to continue to have drivers disregard the safety of all other road users. Thank goodness the woman was not killed by that car driver and no one else was killed. I feel frustrated that some car drivers just don't seem to care."For other articles in the A Better Masonic series, check here.
* The SFMTA stated this afternoon that the striping work began last Friday and will require about a week to complete. The several wet days of March created a backlog in bike lane striping projects and pushed back the Masonic work.
Personal view: Striping bike lanes is a top priority and we celebrate each occasion, but the daily hazards along Masonic deserve priority.