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San Francisco Cyclists Outraged With City After 2 Women Killed In Hit-And-Runs

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Cyclists and cycling advocates in San Francisco denounced what they characterize as the inadequacies of the city's biking infrastructure after two bicyclists were killed in separate hit-and-run crashes Wednesday night.

The cyclists were identified as Heather Miller, 41, and Kate Slattery, 26.

"City leaders failed Heather and Kate, and we need to let them know that that is unacceptable," the Bicycle Coalition wrote in a statement on Friday.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition railed against San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, saying he and other city leaders "offered nothing but hollow talking points" at a press conference following the women's deaths.

"We heard more vague promises about eliminating traffic deaths without a single concrete proposal for how they intend to do so. Meanwhile, the SFMTA is lamentably behind in delivering on its own plan to build the bike infrastructure we know our city needs. This week, those delays had fatal consequences," the Bicycle Coalition wrote Friday.

Cycling advocates are accusing the San Francisco Police Department of not delivering on their promise to dedicate half of all traffic citations to the five violations most closely linked to traffic deaths.

The day after Kate and Heather's deaths, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition published a sample of the high-injury corridors in San Francisco that they say the city has no plans to improve for biking this year.

That list includes:

  • JFK Drive
  • Kezar Drive
  • Geary Boulevard
  • Park Presidio Boulevard
  • Cross Over Drive
  • Lincoln Way
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Taraval Street
  • Sloat Boulevard
  • Skyline Boulevard
  • Gellert Drive
  • Lake Merced Boulevard
  • 19th Avenue
  • Sickles Avenue
  • Alemany Boulevard
  • Palou Avenue
  • Third Street
  • San Bruno Avenue
  • Bayshore Boulevard
  • Industrial Street
  • Mission Street
  • Cesar Chavez Street
  • 24th Street
  • Guerrero Street
  • South Van Ness Avenue
  • Valencia Street
  • Potrero Avenue
  • 18th Street
  • 17th Street
  • 16th Street
  • Dolores Street
  • 15th Street
  • Octavia Boulevard
  • Haight Street
  • Turk Street
  • Fulton Street
  • McAllister Street
  • Grove Street
  • Eddy Street
  • Ellis Street
  • O'Farrell Street
  • Post Street
  • Sutter Street
  • Bush Street
  • Pine Street
  • California Street
  • Stockton Street
  • Broadway
  • Columbus Avenue
  • Kearny Street
  • Bay Street
  • The Embarcadero
  • Fourth Street
  • Fifth Street
  • Sixth Street
  • King Street
  • Townsend Street
  • Harrison Street
  • Folsom Street
  • Howard Street

The Bicycle Coalition said it urges the public to write to Mayor Lee and demand bicycling infrastructure improvements and remind him that this year San Francisco is on pace to set a new all-time high in traffic fatalities.

Pamela Day, a woman who apparently witnessed the hit-and-run crash that killed Kate, posted a heartfelt essay she wrote on Medium on Friday describing the scene.

In the essay, she described what it was like to hold Kate following the crash, how she stayed with her until the EMT crew arrived and expressed her sadness following the death of such a young woman.

Day writes:

"I am sorry you died last night. I knew last night you were young, I now know you were — just 26 years old. You were killed with so much life left to live, so much potential, so much in front of you. I am so sorry you died having been here so briefly.

You were loved.

Your friends and roommates have reached out — they love you so much. People who love and are loved have had the sweetest taste of life. I am thankful for those who loved you so, and I am sad you don't get to be an old loved and loving woman."

By Hannah Albarazi - Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.

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