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Pedestrian deaths spark concern in San Francisco
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Community activists in San Francisco are urging city officials to hasten their efforts to make the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists following a recent string of fatalities they say could have been prevented with better design and more education.

A coalition of advocacy groups placed flowers, candles and 28 pairs of empty shoes on the steps of City Hall on Friday in memory of the 28 people who have died in traffic collisions in the city this year. Eighteen of the victims were pedestrians struck by moving vehicles, including a 51-year-old jogger who was hit by a commuter bus on Thursday and a 68-year-old city employee who was run over by a tour bus in a crosswalk in front of City Hall on Oct. 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Another three of those killed were on bicycles.

“Those 28 shoes should be filled by parents, children, neighbors who have been killed on the streets of San Francisco this year,” Walk San Francisco Executive Director Nicole Schneider said.

The groups want the city to lower the speed limits on certain streets, build protected bicycle lanes, target professional drivers for more safety education and step up traffic enforcement, an agenda based on an approach that has reduced pedestrian fatalities in Sweden.

“The response is just not fast enough,” said Angelica Cabande, organizational director of the South of Market Community Action Network. “We want to see the city respond immediately.”

Among those attending the memorial was Gene Lee, whose 78-year-old mother, Pui Fong Yim Lee, was killed in a Chinatown crosswalk on Sept. 20. “I don’t want anyone else to go through such horrible pain when such crashes are preventable,” Lee said.

A $500 million transportation bond approved by San Francisco voters on Tuesday has at least $142 million earmarked for improvements at dangerous intersections, Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said.

Last year, 21 pedestrians were killed in San Francisco.