Comment letter from Circulate San Diego on the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). [PDF]
Contact: Kathleen Ferrier
619-544-9255, x. 301
SAN DIEGO (September 28, 2015) --- After a record breaking year, traffic violence in San Diego is not slowing down. Four pedestrians were hit by cars in the City just in the last five days leaving three of the walkers dead. The week prior, three pedestrians were seriously injured. That same week, a beloved P.E. teacher at Birney Elementary was hit while bicycling on Clairemont Mesa Drive. In many of these crashes, the walker was hit while in the crosswalk. The crash involving the bicyclist was a hit and run. In just two weeks, that’s a total of eight serious deaths and injuries for people walking and biking in the City.
Even for an organization like Circulate San Diego who has been monitoring the rise in traffic injuries and death in recent months, these numbers are alarming. Three of the seven pedestrian crashes involved older adults, folks over the age of 60, some of our most vulnerable members of society. One involved two boys ages 14 and 16.
Circulate San Diego has asked City leaders to support a strategy called Vision Zero, to set a goal to eliminate all traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025. On September 16, Circulate San Diego presented its Vision Zero initiative to the City’s Infrastructure Committee and received unanimous approval of a Vision Zero resolution. Adoption of the resolution recognizes the scale of traffic violence in the City of San Diego and will launch a Citywide Vision Zero Task Force whose mission is to create a Vision Zero strategy. The resolution will go to the larger City Council in October.
Vision Zero is a departure from previous strategies to address traffic safety in that it one, assumes traffic fatalities and injuries are preventable and two, that collaboration among a variety of disciplines such as traffic engineering, police, public health, and advocacy organizations can work to reduce and eliminate deaths over time. Speed reduction, education and enforcement are key components to the strategy. It’s a systems approach to rethinking safety on our streets, especially as our population continues to grow.
Jim Stone, Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, said: “Our heartfelt condolences go out to these victims’ families. We are distressed at the alarming increase of these incidents, especially as they occur time and time again on the same corridors, like El Cajon Boulevard. This cannot go on. No loss of life is acceptable.”
Last year motor vehicles claimed the life of at least 22 pedestrians and another 500 were seriously injured in the City of San Diego.
Vision Zero in San Diego is supported by a coalition of leading transportation, business and community based organizations and the thousands of members they represent. A similar strategy has been implemented in cities around the country, including New York City, where officials reported a 13 percent reduction in pedestrian fatalities in the one year since the program began.
Circulate San Diego is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to move, work, learn, and play. Our work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth.
Vision Zero is headed to full Council after the Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously last week to support a resolution that will create an action plan outlining how to reduce traffic related deaths and serious injuries in San Diego to zero by 2025. Committee Chair and Councilman Mark Kersey said, “Implementing the Vision Zero framework, in coordination with the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan, is essential to ensuring our streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes are as safe as possible”. Read more
This approval comes on the heels of San Diego Unified School District’s unanimous approval of a similar resolution, to support safe streets in the City and especially around schools.