It’s no surprise that some roads are more dangerous than other in the Bay Area. However, you might be surprised by the location of the most dangerous roads. It’s easy to assume that high-speed roads and freeways see the most accidents, but in reality, neighborhood roads like those in the Tenderloin are more dangerous by far.
According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), every street in the Tenderloin is considered part of the city’s High Injury Network. This is the network of the most dangerous roads in all of San Francisco. The city has identified 13% of local roads as having 75% of all severe and fatal traffic accidents in the city, and the Tenderloin is notorious for its local traffic dangers.
The next step is to reduce the danger of driving in the area. The SFMTA has identified two strategies for improving outcomes and reducing accidents in the area. First, they have proposed to reduce the traffic speed in the area from 25 mph to just 20 mph. Second, they intend to ban right turns at red lights. In combination, they hope to cut down on traffic accidents and to make the accidents that do happen less severe.
Lowering the speed limit just five miles an hour may have an outsized effect on the fatality rate in the neighborhood, according to the SFMTA. Pedestrians in particular will see the benefits. Dropping the speed limit 20% will hopefully reduce pedestrian fatalities by as much as 50%. Since the Tenderloin is a residential neighborhood, pedestrians are frequent; protecting them is a top priority for local traffic authorities.
Why San Francisco’s Tenderloin Traffic So Dangerous?
There’s a reason behind the Tenderloin’s high fatality rates. Nearly 14% of all traffic-related wrongful deaths in the city occurred in the Tenderloin, but the neighborhood saw five speeding tickets issued in all of 2019. That lack of traffic enforcement, combined with the neighborhood’s proximity to multiple important thoroughfares, is a deadly combination. For comparison, the Richmond district, which sees a comparable number of traffic accidents, issues 1566 speeding tickets over an only moderately larger geographic area.
Staying Safe at Any Speed
San Francisco roads are still not entirely safe. The Tenderloin is not the only part of the High Injury Network, after all. Taking precautions like driving defensively and keeping a close eye on the traffic around you can help you drive and walk around the city safely no matter what the speed limit says. Meanwhile, if you’ve already been injured in a Bay Area car accident, reach out to a qualified traffic accident attorney for help with your case.