Broadway and Mason streets, the site of a September 2008 cable car collision that left an 80-year-old woman dead, continues to be the topic of upheaval amongst community groups, pedestrian advocacy groups, and transit representatives, says the Examiner.

The victim, Jin Xi Yu Lin, was a resident of the Lady Shaw Senior Center, which along with Jean Parker Elementary school, is inconveniently located right at this intersection. Because cable cars tend to stop in the middle of the intersection, after the stop sign instead of before it, the flow of traffic is often confusing.

The intersection’s steep location at the top of the hill on Mason, also makes visibility difficult. With children and the elderly surrounding the area, safety upgrades seem essential. “The elderly and children are the people who are most often crossing this intersection,” Deland Chan, of the Chinatown Community Development Center, said. “And they are the most vulnerable pedestrian populations in The City.”

Elizabeth Stampe, Executive Director of pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF, also blames the lack of “no-parking” zones at the intersection, for the low visibility levels, since pedestrians have trouble seeing through the parked vehicles to see approaching motorists.

The 2008 cable car fatality unfortunately, was not an isolated incident. In 2006, Joyce Yuet Wah Lam was killed in a cable car accident at Mason and Filbert. It took three years of lobbying by Chan and the Chinatown Center, to successfully get four-way traffic lights installed at that intersection.

These four-way traffic lights at Broadway and Mason seem to be the best safety solution for the intersection’s current issues. The struggle for the upgrade ensues, with requests from the Self Help for the Elderly, who manages the Lady Shaw Senior Center, meeting much resistance from the City.

According to Josephine Ma, the fund development director for the group, the City cites a lack of funding for their inability to move forward with the safety upgrades.

In the meantime, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency had changed the location of a cable car boarding sign so it isn’t blocking the stop sign at the intersection, according to Paul Rose, department spokesperson.

Traffic and pedestrians will seemingly continue this dangerous dance of co-existence until the City caves to the community’s requests.

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  • RussianHillDweller

    The cable cars have been there in their restored glory for more than a quarter century. I’m alarmed to find out that aging seniors are clamoring for new signals at these intersections because they’re losing their senses but refuse to leave a neighborhood that has become perilous due – not to the nature of the traffic pattern, but to their natural aging process.

    No, no, there is no “they’ve lived in this neighborhood their whole lives” argument to be made here. It’s preposterous for the city to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on additional signal operations at these intersections for octogenarians who should be relocated to suburban settings more conducive to their twilight years. You can’t go from 55 to 80 on the same block and simply expect the rest of the city to pick up the tab to “senior-proof” the neighborhood for you – that’s ridiculous.

    Prepare for your retirement, please.

  • RussianHillDweller

    The cable cars have been there in their restored glory for more than a quarter century. I’m alarmed to find out that aging seniors are clamoring for new signals at these intersections because they’re losing their senses but refuse to leave a neighborhood that has become perilous due – not to the nature of the traffic pattern, but to their natural aging process.

    No, no, there is no “they’ve lived in this neighborhood their whole lives” argument to be made here. It’s preposterous for the city to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on additional signal operations at these intersections for octogenarians who should be relocated to suburban settings more conducive to their twilight years. You can’t go from 55 to 80 on the same block and simply expect the rest of the city to pick up the tab to “senior-proof” the neighborhood for you – that’s ridiculous.

    Prepare for your retirement, please.

  • DT

    The Cable Cars have been on Mason Street for decades before the school or Chinese Senior Housing were constructed.

    Perhaps the choice of senior housing at the top of a steep hill on a cable car line was not the best one.

    Cable cars ALWAYS stop IN the middle of the intersection, especially on top of the Broadway tunnel.

    I lived on the Mason Street cable car line for several years.

    There is nothing wrong with the intersection. Residents, especially recent immigrants, who are NOT familiar with US traffic patterns (i.e. driving on the RIGHT side of the road and using Pedestrian Crossings) would be better served by educational forums in their senior housing and by traveling in small groups so as better to serve as the missing and diminished senses of their companions.

  • DT

    The Cable Cars have been on Mason Street for decades before the school or Chinese Senior Housing were constructed.

    Perhaps the choice of senior housing at the top of a steep hill on a cable car line was not the best one.

    Cable cars ALWAYS stop IN the middle of the intersection, especially on top of the Broadway tunnel.

    I lived on the Mason Street cable car line for several years.

    There is nothing wrong with the intersection. Residents, especially recent immigrants, who are NOT familiar with US traffic patterns (i.e. driving on the RIGHT side of the road and using Pedestrian Crossings) would be better served by educational forums in their senior housing and by traveling in small groups so as better to serve as the missing and diminished senses of their companions.