Published Friday, September 9, 2005, in the San Francisco Examiner
19th Avenue letdown
A measure intended to slow down drivers on busy and deadly 19th Avenue
was quashed by a veto from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday.
The north-south street west of Twin Peaks is frequently the site of
collisions between pedestrians and cars and the subject of complaints
from neighbors who say it seems less like a city street and more like
a high-volume freeway.
Nineteenth Avenue also serves as state Highway 1, yet on both sides it
is bounded by houses with driveways accessible only from 19th. It
transects residential areas, neighborhood shopping districts and
heavily used transit corridors. While the posted speed limit is 35
mph, drivers frequently greatly exceed that speed. All this combines
to create a hazardous zone for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Fourteen people have been killed on 19th Avenue and Park Presidio
Boulevard in the past five years.
A bill from Assemblyman Leland Yee would have imposed a double-fine
zone for speeding and other traffic violations on 19th Avenue south of
Golden Gate Park and the connected Park Presidio to the north of the
park. By itself this might not have slowed down drivers intent on
driving dangerously -- a reason Schwarzenegger cited for rejecting the
bill. But Yee says the fines would have been only part of a set of
measures, including greater enforcement and driver education.
Yee has said he will introduce a similar bill next year, and anyone
who has to cross 19th Avenue on foot should hope he does. Next time,
the governor should give greater consideration to the safety of the
residents who walk and drive along this road.