Be Seen, Be Safe Program & Excelsior Safe Speeds
The Be Seen, Be Safe program seeks to increase the visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists in the Excelsior by providing free reflectors, lights, and reflective gear, which can quadruple the distance at which car drivers can spot someone. This helps ensure that drivers are aware of the presence of other road users and have ample time to stop to avoid a collision.
For health, environmental, and economic reasons, San Franciscans of every age are walking and biking more each year. However, many people commute in the dark during the winter months, or travel during rainy or foggy weather, when visibility is poor. This is the time that collisions between cars and pedestrians or bicyclists increase significantly—up to seven times—making it imperative that efforts are made to improve drivers’ ability to see them.
Each November, Be Seen, Be Safe provides reflectors, bike lights, and safety information at multiple transit stops in the neighborhood following the end of Daylight Saving Time, when there is a sudden increase in collisions, as seen in the graph on the right.
The Be Seen, Be Safe Backpack Giveaway provides free reflective backpacks to young members of the Boys & Girls Club Excelsior Clubhouse. The backpacks feature reflectors on the back, sides, and straps, allowing wearers to be seen from 360 degrees. Because backpacks are worn almost daily, there is no need to put on any special gear or remind children to use it, making this a smart safety item. In addition, backpacks are items that many working-class families in the Excelsior neighborhood have trouble affording; therefore this project is able to address both educational and safety needs at once.
Be Seen Halloween provides kid-friendly slap-on reflective wrist bands for trick-or-treaters in the Excelsior, so that children have a fun and safe Halloween.
EAG is spearheaded ongoing efforts in pedestrian safety projects and advocacy and is working towards an Excelsior neighborhood where everyone is safe while walking and biking. If you would like to donate to this important program, please do so here. Contact EAG's Safety Coordinator, Gwynn Mackellen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We are greatly appreciative of State Farm and Bay Area LISC, as this program would not be possible without their funding. We also wish to thank the San Francisco locations of Mikes Bikes and Sports Basement for donations of bike lights and reflectors. DontGetHit.com provided discounts and donations for our events.
There are two children in the picture above, walking home at dusk. The one on the left is visible because of the reflectors on her belongings; the child on the right can barely be seen, especially from a distance.