San Franciscan pedestrians are getting killed at a rate
that's four times higher than the San Francisco murder
rate. I've compiled a list of ideas for the San Francisco
Board of Supervisors on how to solve this appalling problem.
Aperture Radar Tire Puncture. Detroit automakers invented a system a
couple of years ago that can warn you when your car is following too close to
another car. Pay-to-park parking lots have spikes that pop up out of the ground
that keep you from entering a parking lot through the exit. City officials could
combine the two: putting pop-up spikes on city streets and radar to tell if a
car is too close to a pedestrian. If the radar sees a car coming too close to a
pedestrian, it triggers the spikes, popping all four tires of the car and giving
the pedestrian time to get out of the way. Tie that in with a loudspeaker system
that screams "PUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOU'RE GOING"
and you've got a system that not only saves lives, but also acts as a deterrent
to inattentive driving.
Put Land Mines around Crosswalks. Just line each side of a crosswalk with
landmines that are automatically armed when the light turns red and disarmed
when the light turns green. This will keep cars out of crosswalks when
pedestrians are crossing AND prevent red-light runners at the same time. It'll
also serve as an incentive to keep pedestrians on the crosswalk and not dodging
in between cars. Sure you'll lose an SUV now and then, but that will only serve
as a powerful reminder to other drivers that they need to share the streets with
people and bicycles.
Wall in the Sidewalks. Every time this problem is brought up on the
nightly news, someone has to point out that the pedestrians share the blame for
this crosswalk holocaust. Pedestrians jaywalk, cross when the light is red, and
dodge between cars on San Francisco's busy streets. The obvious solution is to
wall in the sidewalks. If the city would just build an 8-foot wall between the
sidewalk and the street all the way around every city block, with openings ONLY
at the corners, then people would HAVE to cross at the crosswalks. Jaywalking
would cease and the police could use the time that they spend rounding up
jaywalkers concentrating on more serious crimes, such as littering.
Gates for the Crosswalks. Once the walls are up, the next problem to
solve is getting pedestrians to pay attention to traffic lights. To ensure that
people only cross when the light is green, the city should install electronic
steel gates on every corner that are synchronized with the traffic lights. The
light turns green and the gate opens. The light turns red and the gate snaps
shut. Not only will this keep people from crossing when the light is red, it'll
also make them MOVE a little faster. Any dawdlers will get stuck out on the
streets when the gates close, which is not a place to be when you've got a
street full of oversized SUVs bearing down on you.
Ramps for Bicycles. Once you have walls around every block, it'll be a
cinch to stick ramps on top of the walls for bicyclists. Get bikes up and away
from cars AND pedestrians. Everyone wins!
Distribute Free Methamphetamine to Pedestrians. Once pedestrians are
hopped up on meth, they'll be able to MOVE much faster and get out of the way
when cars drive up on the sidewalk.
Arm Pedestrians (Shoot Bad Drivers). This is a win-win solution to the
problem, because not only will you reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities
and get rid of a lot of bad drivers, but you'll increase the murder rate too!
Snotty journalists will no longer be able to say that "San Franciscan
pedestrians are getting killed at a rate that's four times higher than the San
Francisco murder rate." Problem solved!
So there you go Board of Supervisors, a complete package of technological
solutions for a nasty problem. Sure, you could continue down the current path of
trying to educate people to be considerate, and slow down, and pay attention,
but who do you think you're fooling? No one in this city has time to waste! We
have to HURRY. If you don't stop wasting time trying to educate the public and
start implementing REAL SOLUTIONS, you'll only have yourselves to blame for the
BLOOD on the STREETS.