A San Francisco supervisor is calling for the city’s transportation agency to implement a citywide ban on making right turns at a red light.
District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston introduced a nonbinding resolution Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency “to develop and implement a plan: prohibiting right turns on red at every signalized intersection in the city. Preston said in a press statement citing the success of the dense Tenderloin neighborhood in his district where the SFMTA prohibited no turn on red at 50 intersections in 2021, adding:
“We have the tools, and we should be using these tools in a coordinated way, with urgency, to ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent serious traffic injuries and fatalities. Banning turns on red won’t solve everything, but it is an important step in a positive direction a step in a positive direction.”
Preston’s resolution cites that other cities, including Seattle and Washington, D.C., will begin implementing similar right-turn bans on red in the coming years.
The SFMTA released an evaluation summary last year that said 92 percent of vehicles complied with the no-turn-on red signages and that close calls between pedestrians were decreased as well as vehicles encroaching the crosswalks on a red light.
Luke Bornheimer, the lead organizer behind the no turn on red citywide campaign said allowing turns on red lights is“outdated”and dangerous, especially for people who are seniors, children and persons with disabilities.
Bornheimer said in a press statement:
“Implementing ‘No Turn On Red’ citywide will make it safer, easier, and more comfortable for people to cross the street, as well as safer and more predictable for people in cars.”
An online campaign in support of the citywide no right-turn on red policy, led by Bornheimer, has already gathered more than 4,500 signatures.
In an email to SFBay, SFMTA spokesperson Stephen Chun said the agency is committed to Vision Zero and expanding no right turns on red but in specific areas of the city, adding:
“The SFMTA is ensuring the policies prioritize the city, businesses and high pedestrian areas where the safety risks are highest.”
Chun said the agency is in the process of expanding“No Turn on Red”restrictions in business districts that have a high volume of pedestrian activity.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.