SAN DIEGO (March 20, 2017) – A 76-year old woman was struck and killed last Friday while walking in Mira Mesa. She was crossing the 10800 block of Westonhill Drive when a vehicle hit her at 9a.m., according to a police report. Her name has not yet been released.
“This terrible collision is a reminder of how important it is for our region’s leaders to commit to Vision Zero,” said Kathleen Ferrier, director of advocacy for Circulate San Diego. “Older adults and children continue to be the most vulnerable in these crashes."
Vision Zero is a campaign based on the fundamental principle that traffic crashes are preventable and promotes a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2025. The program has been successful in other U.S. and European cities.
Unfortunately in San Diego, the number of pedestrian deaths has increased steadily over the last three years, with 21 people dying in 2014, 23 in 2015, and 25 in 2016. Each year, another 40-50 people are seriously injured while walking. This is at least the second reported traffic death in Mira Mesa this year.
San Diego's City Council adopted a Vision Zero resolution in October 2015 to support the goal of zero traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025. Since then, Circulate San Diego has worked with Mayor Faulconer's office and City staff to form a Vision Zero Task Force and create a one-year implementation strategy.
Last year the Associated Press issued new guidelines for journalists to think twice before using the word “accident” to describe car collisions. Advocates for Vision Zero in New York City created a website, CrashNotAccident, that allows and urges people nationwide to sign a pledge to stop using the word accident.
The philosophy behind the movement is that traffic crashes are fixable problems, caused by dangerous streets, unsafe drivers and a multitude of distractions. The term “accident” implies it could not have been avoided. The website CrashNotAccident calls out other types of dangerous situations that already use the word crash, for example, that planes do not have accidents, they crash. The same kind of thinking should be applied to traffic collisions.
About Circulate San Diego
Circulate San Diego is a regional nonprofit 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. For more information, go to www.circulatesd.org.
The morning of March 6, prior to a City Council hearing where the City Auditor presented its Pedestrian Safety Performance Audit, City staff released a memorandum providing an update to infrastructure improvements planned for 15 of the City's most dangerous intersections highlighted in the Auditor report.
There were several questions regarding how these intersections related to Circulate San Diego's "The Fatal Fifteen."
*Circulate San Diego’s intersections were determined based on the locations with the highest number of serious injuries and deaths, as reported by the City Auditor, with all of the intersections having at least 11 serious injuries. Some of the three infrastructure improvements had been made at these intersections, but none of the intersections had all three improvements.
*The City’s intersections were determined based on a separate dataset also provided by the City Auditor. These 15 intersections did not have any of the three improvements and had at least seven crashes at each.
The good news? Work is underway to make basic improvements at these intersections. For example, high visibility crosswalks were painted at the intersections of University Avenue and Marlborough, among others, as indicated in the memo. In comments made to the City Council at the March 6 hearing, staff from Stormwater and Transportation Department indicated they are working to improve up to 66 intersections. This is a welcomed change from previous inaction.
We are very pleased to see that several improvements to dangerous intersections have already been made in recent months. and will continue to advocate for completion of these simple, modern improvements. Circulate San Diego’s intersections are the most dangerous, and should be the priority. To accomplish the goal of Vision Zero, the City’s decisions should be data-driven to reduce human harm. Some areas will receive more attention and investment than others, which is both necessary and appropriate.
Circulate San Diego urges and supports the City of San Diego fixing all 26 intersections identified by both the City and Circulate. However, to prevent injury and death, the 15 that Circulate identified should be the top priority. It is our goal and hope that improvements, such as high visibility crosswalks (known colloquially as ladder or zebra stripes) and countdown signals, can be provided at all 26 intersections, including locations within your district.
It was an exciting day when the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) was awarded the Safe Routes to School Grant in 2015. For over a decade, the district sought funding that would enable the City of Chula Vista to evaluate school neighborhood streets to make them safer for families to walk and bike. Through Caltrans grant, the district partnered with Alta Planning and Circulate San Diego to assess streets and intersections around the 27 schools in the CVESD, while bringing to life It’s Cool to Walk to School at four select schools.Read more