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Safety improvements planned for West Portal neighborhood where crash killed family of 4

Sting operation held by police for San Francisco drivers not yielding to pedestrians
Sting operation held by police for San Francisco drivers not yielding to pedestrians 03:08

Traffic safety improvements could be coming soon to San Francisco's busy West Portal transit hub in the wake of a collision that killed a family of four in March. 

The family -- Diego Cardoso de Oliveira and Matilde Ramos Pinto, their 2-year-old son Joaquin and infant Caue Ramos Pinto de Oliveira -- all died after being struck by an SUV while waiting at a bus stop at Ulloa Street and Lenox Way on March 16.

On Thursday, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Supervisor Myrna Melgar and project supervisor Liz Brisson announced the proposed improvements to the area.

"This is an intersection that was designed 100 years ago, before Uber Eats, before so many people had cars that go very fast and before a lot of the things that we now have," Melgar said. 

The goal of the proposed changes is to improve intersection safety by clearly defining pedestrian, vehicle and transit movements, removing vehicle traffic from train tracks and providing more dedicated and protected pedestrian spaces, according to a description of the project on the SFMTA website.

A key aspect of the project is the elimination of all left turns in the intersections defined by West Portal Avenue, Ulloa Street, Lenox Way and Claremont Boulevard in order to protect pedestrians since about 40 percent of the city's traffic deaths are a result of drivers turning left and hitting people trying to cross the street, according to the SFMTA. 

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Police Department conducted a sting operation at the intersection of Ulloa and Wawona streets targeting drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Planners hope to bring the project to the SFMTA board for consideration in May or early June and initial improvements could be built out by the end of this summer. 

More information about the project, including how people can attend planning events and provide feedback, is available on the SFMTA website.

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