Monday, May 9, 2011

Ammiano, Mar, Mirkarimi, Capt. O'Leary Endorse Masonic Boulevard Proposal; Vigil Scheduled for Hit-and-Run Fatality

Remembrance on Masonic, April 2011 Photo: Michael Helquist

The hit-and-run fatality on Masonic near Turk last week shocked San Franciscans, especially those who regularly use the street and, in the most tragic manner, made the case for comprehensive safety improvements along the busy corridor.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, and SFPD Captain Denis O'Leary of Park Station have endorsed the Boulevard proposal developed by city staff and community members in a series of meetings held last year. As previously reported, the Boulevard plan includes extensive traffic calming measures to reduce the speedway aspect of Masonic and would install facilities for safer walking, bus use, and biking while keeping vehicle traffic to the 25 MPH speed limit.
"I hope that the SFMTA embraces this opportunity to show long-term vision for the transformation of Masonic from a heavily trafficked, dangerous street to an improved, livable corridor." Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (ed: statement released before last week's fatality)
"I definitely support the Boulevard plan for Masonic along with the many area residents and community groups." Supervisor Eric Mar
"This fatality is another reason all forces in City Hall to correct the conditions of Masonic Avenue. These changes are long overdue. The incremental measures taken to increase safety have not been adequate. One major step would be quick adoption and installation of the Boulevard project for Masonic."
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Capt. Denis O'Leary hopes to testify at the public hearing in support of the Boulevard proposal. He has also increased monitoring of traffic speeds and safe pedestrian crossings along Masonic.

Public Hearing on Masonic
Friday, May 13, 2011, at 10:00 am
Room 416 (Hearing Room 4), City Hall
(located on Van Ness Avenue between McAllister and Grove Streets)

Opinions on these proposed changes may be filed in writing prior to the hearing with SFMTA Transportation Engineering, 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-5417.
Written opinions may also be transmitted by fax to (415) 701-4737 or by
email to with subject line “Public Hearing.” Submitted opinions will become part of the official public record and will be brought to the attention of the person(s) conducting the hearing.


Last year's tragic death of Yannick Linke on Masonic near Turk followed by just three days a city-sponsored community meeting focused on making Masonic a safer street for all users. The most recent Masonic fatality -- resulting in the loss of James Hudson last Friday while he was crossing the street -- occurred just one week prior to the City Hall public hearing to review the result of that community planning process. The deaths of both men, and the injuries of many others, impress upon neighborhood residents even more the need for comprehensive, integrated traffic calming on Masonic. Neighbors have organized a memorial for James Hudson for this Wednesday evening. After honoring his life, a street safety discussion will follow for those interested.

Vigil for a Fallen Pedestrian
Wednesday, May 11, 6:15 to 7:15 pm
Meet 6:15; Vigil starts 6:30
Meet on sidewalk at San Francisco Day School (350 Masonic at Golden Gate)

Safety dialogue at 7:15 pm
Gather at Blood Centers of the Pacific, 270 Masonic (at Turk)
For further information: Jarie Bolander, 415-385-22348


  1. Thank you for your leadership, Michael.

  2. These deaths are tragic. To be a complete article, it should be noted somewhere that both crashes were caused by drunk drivers.

  3. Mike: Yes, that's true, drunk drivers were involved on both occasions on a street that appears to many as an opportunity for speeding, a frequent occurrence. The April 11, 2011 collision that sent a pedestrian with the right-of-way in the crosswalk to the hospital with two broken legs, head and internal injuries is not known to have involved drunken driving.