Last year, Taraval Station officers issued 6,389 citations to motorists in the Sunset and Parkside districts who violated traffic laws. These statistics do not include the number of citations issued by our SFPD Traffic Company’s solo motorcycle officers who patrol our district additionally under the management of Capt. Greg Corrales.
My attendance at community meetings throughout the district has brought to my attention a number of complaints from motorists and pedestrians, which include drivers who speed and fail to stop at stop signs and red lights and pedestrians who violate right-of-way laws.
During 2003, there were 10 traffic fatalities (five pedestrian and five vehicular) in the Sunset and Parkside districts. Because of those fatalities, we targeted specific corridors in the district that were problematic, resulting in the reduction of traffic fatalities during 2004 to a single pedestrian death.
During 2004, San Francisco supervisors Fiona Ma and Sean Elsbernd, former supervisor Tony Hall, and Assemblyman Leland Yee worked with the SF Department of Parking and Traffic and the mayor’s office to formulate a traffic-calming plan which has reduced vehicle and pedestrian collisions.
Representatives from the various city agencies involved in the effort have prepared a media presentation for safety awareness, education and enforcement in our district. It is expected to be shown in mid-March.
In 2005, we’re again working on our efforts to make motorists and pedestrians aware of the laws; instituting traffic calming measures, such as count down crosswalk lights at major intersections; new reflective signs and the brighter painting of crosswalks; and speed trailers being stationed in high-traffic areas.
Because of concerns from the community, we have had enforcement operations on Brotherhood Way, Lake Merced Boulevard, 19th Avenue, Sunset Boulevard, Lincoln Way and several other locations.
San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong, Deputy Chief Greg Suhr and Commander D. Shinn have implemented a new traffic enforcement plan that assigns two motorcycle officers to each of the city’s 10 district police stations. On March 12, Officer Regina Berrigan will be the first motorcycle officer assigned to the Taraval Police Station. Our second motorcycle officer is to be assigned upon the completion of training.
Berrigan will have the responsibility of issuing citations to violators in specific targeted areas and to respond to vehicle accidents in the Sunset. She is the first female officer to be assigned to the traffic company, making this is a historic event, not only for the Taraval District but also for the SF Police Department. We look forward to having Regina as part of the Taraval Police Station’s traffic enforcement team.
Currently, we staff two traffic cars on the day watch and one traffic car on the night watch to enforce the traffic laws. As well, we have sector cars issuing citations during their daily assignments, which are supplemented with officers from the traffic division.
Susan Suval, of the Sunset District Neighborhood Coalition, is currently working with Taraval Police Station on a pedestrian safety program for the Sunset and Parkside districts. Suval is looking forward to having members of the community participate in her program to make pedestrians and motorists aware of the need to be safe while walking or operating a vehicle on our streets.
This month our guest speakers at the Police Community Relations Forum will discuss Traffic Safety Measures and Awareness, as well as participation, with a representative from the P.U.C., on March 15, at 7 p.m., at Taraval Police Station (2345 24th Ave.)
Capt. Keith Sanford is the commanding officer at the Taraval Police Station.