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Deadly Intersection On Sunset Boulevard In San Francisco To Get Traffic Signals

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Crews will begin installing traffic signals this week at an intersection on San Francisco's Sunset Boulevard where an elderly man was fatally struck in February and two other pedestrian accidents have occurred this year.

San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang announced on her Facebook page Monday that traffic signals will be built at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is breaking ground on the project by the end of this week, agency spokesman Paul Rose said. "The lights will be turned on by the end of July," Rose said. In the meantime, Tang wrote that, "there will be increased enforcement in the area."

The $350,000 project to install two streetlights on the north-south corridor, similar to other lights installed on Sunset Boulevard in 2013, was expedited after a fatal collision at the intersection on Feb. 4.

Just before 11 a.m. that day, 78-year-old Isaak Berenzon, of San Francisco, was fatally struck as he walked west across Sunset Boulevard.

He went through the windshield of a red Toyota Corolla in the gruesome collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A woman was driving the car with two passengers inside. Those three were taken to a hospital for minor injuries. The driver, 71-year-old Jenny Ching, was later arrested and cited on suspicion of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Berenzon had been walking where there are currently yellow blinking lights to alert drivers to pedestrians crossing.

A few weeks later on Feb. 19, a 15-year-old boy was hit by a car at the same location.

He suffered head trauma and lower body injuries but survived. Just last week, a 21-year-old woman was struck and injured while crossing the same intersection.

The woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital after the collision, which occurred around 2:35 p.m. Thursday. She suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver, a 25-year-old woman, was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

After the latest accident, Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy group, called on the city to redouble its efforts to achieve "Vision Zero," a citywide goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024. "This is another reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to make our streets safer for pedestrians," Walk SF executive director Nicole Schneider said in a statement.

According to the group, Sunset Boulevard is part of 6 percent of city streets that account for 60 percent of all pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

The group called for traffic calming and safer crossings at the deadly intersection.

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