New 19th Avenue Fines Vetoed
19th Ave.Schwarzenegger calls 'piecemeal' approaceh ineffective
September 12, 2005 5:57 PM
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill Sept. 7 which would have doubled fines for traffic violations along 19th Avenue.
Assembly Bill 452 - authored by Assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) - passed by a vote of 24 - 13 in the Senate, and 55 - 21 in the Assembly. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had 12 days to sign or veto the legislation.
According to a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) report, double-fine zones are ineffective to traffic safety. To have impact on motorists, the fines must be accompanied with beefed-up law enforcement, public education, and stricter safety regulations. And this bill neglects the prescribed measures, according to Schwarzenegger.
But in a statement released by the bill’s author, Assemblyman Yee said, “It is simply unacceptable that we continue to lose innocent lives including children because of high speed avenues in our residential areas.”
19th Avenue, from Junipero Serra Boulevard to the Golden Gate Bridge is part of California State Highway 1, which the legislature has jurisdiction over. According to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), there have been 14 fatalities on 19th Avenue since 2001, five of them pedestrians. Srijaya Dalton, 22, was killed while crossing 19th Avenue on May 26, 2003. One day after graduating from SF State, a hit-and-run driver struck her. The driver was never caught.
Emily Drennan, a 2003 graduate of SF State's public administration master's program, is now the director of Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy group. The group cited the intersection of 19th Avenue and Holloway Avenue as the fourth most dangerous in the city.
Major engineering solutions to 19th Avenue have been proposed before, according to Tom Radulovich, the president of Transportation for a Livable City (TLC). TLC is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the city more sustainable by decreasing auto dependence and improving alternative transit modes.
In December 2000, a countywide transportation plan was drafted by the San Francisco Transportation Authority, but never implemented, Radulovich explained.
The plan included building a tunnel under 19th Avenue for faster moving through traffic. The idea was to fund the project by “FasTrack” tolls with motorists billed by an electronic toll register mounted on their dash. However, a $2 billion price tag and a new San Francisco Board of Supervisors sworn in at the beginning of 2001, convinced city leaders to redraft a new transit plan that ignored the proposed tunnel, according to Radulovich.
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