San Francisco fire chief says narrow streets requested by supervisor could harm public safety

  • Source: San Francisco Chronicle (
  • Published: 05/01/2014 12:00 AM

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White is not a fan of Supervisor Scott Wiener‘s plan to limit the width of streets through a new city law that would require city agencies to request permission from the Board of Supervisors to go beyond guidelines. Wiener and the Fire Department have been at loggerheads for years over fire officials’ reticence to support pedestrian-friendly improvements such as narrower streets and corner bulb-outs, a situation that has boiled over as the city nails down street engineering plans for the new Candlestick and Hunters Point developments. On Tuesday, Wiener said he was fed up by the department’s insistence that streets in those new developments be 26 feet wide and announced the new legislation as well as a hearing on the new streets. He also asked the board’s budget and legislative analyst to examine whether the Fire Department could use smaller trucks citywide.Hayes-White said she never agreed to narrower streets, as Wiener charged Tuesday, and that she’s not the only one pushing for the wider roadways: city engineers and experts at the Department of Public Works agree. “We’re all about pedestrian safety — to me, it’s a very important, integral component of overall public safety. I totally respect Supervisor Wiener but clearly we fundamentally disagree,” she said. “We are building a new community from scratch — overall public safety should be considered.”


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