Folks for Polk

Thank you to the Marina Times for featuring Folks for Polk’s recommendations to the city re: the Polk St. initiative [News Briefs, December 2012].

Our comprehensive menu of amenities includes the doable, the possible, and the visionary, because we all benefit if our big decisions are guided by good information and taking a long view.  Many of the amenities we recommend are state-of-the-art for urban infrastructure and are already in place in many other cities in the U.S. and abroad. Folks for Polk continues to work with the Polk community, including the previously underrepresented Chinese-Americans, and the SFMTA/SF Planning Polk Team.

A recent survey conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative demonstrated that the public’s prime concern is the “unsafe environment for pedestrians and cyclists” on Polk St. It also reflected the collective wisdom that only substantial actions will remedy that and grow the local economy.

Public outcry about SF’s epidemic of collisions between motor vehicles and peds/cyclists also prompted SF city supervisors Kim (District 6), Wiener (District 8), and Yee (District 7) to introduce a popular Vision Zero Initiative. Vision Zero SF calls for the number of fatal or extremely serious collisions of these types to be reduced to zero by 2024.

We see the lack of safety, the broad diversity of Polk St., and the discord surrounding its redesign as emblematic of SF and its process. Implementing best practice and beyond for SF’s streetscape will not only make it safer for all, but will also truly reflect its status as a cradle of innovation and equitably boost its economic vitality, too.

Madeleine Savit
Founder, Folks for Polk
San Francisco

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