In theory, creating a safer street should be easy: Make life harder for cars and easier for people. That means lowering the speed limit, building speed bumps, traffic circles, and bulb-outs, which narrow roads and force drivers to be more cautious, and creating special, separated spaces in the street for drivers, cyclists, and walkers.
Firefighters, though—they just want to get where they’re going, fast. And in cities like Baltimore or New York, fire departments have pushed back against design tweaks that better protect bicyclists and walkers, arguing that the changes make it harder to maneuver their fire engines, and thus, protect residents. In Baltimore, the conflict even led to litigation.
In San Francisco, though: compromise.
The smaller, smarter Vision Zero truck will make it easier for firefighters to navigate roads clogged with bike lanes, double parkers, and Uber drop-offs