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
Circulate San Diego had a great time joining students and families at Chollas-Mead Elementary and the San Diego Police Department to celebrate Walk to School Day. Some families walked from home, while others met at a nearby location and joined the “Walking School Bus” to be safely guided to school by parent volunteers and officers.Read more
Mr. Abera Kebede Tura, a leader within San Diego’s Ethiopian community, was hit by a car and died last September while crossing El Cajon Boulevard as he was leaving Awash Market, a regular gathering place of San Diego’s Ethiopian community.
Mr. Tura was a laudable individual. Before seeking exile from Ethiopia, he was a dedicated journalist who wrote about free speech and equal rights. Upon moving to San Diego 15 years ago, he was touted as a community leader who supported incumbent refugees. He supported people’s housing needs, immigration issues, and other social issues.
Awash Market, located on the corner of Kansas St and El Cajon Boulevard, was a place that he frequented often. It was his communication center, a place to enjoy tea and coffee, where he could find spices, injera, and other cultural items from his home country. What a shame that his life ended while crossing the street, exiting a small business so dear to his heart.
Tragically, Mr. Tura is not the only victim to have suffered at this intersection. Seven other people were seriously injured during the last 10 years at the same location.
Last Saturday, Circulate SD’s Jim Stone joined with District Three Councilmember Chris Ward, the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, and friends and family members of Mr. Tura’s to celebrate his life and discuss how future tragedies at the same intersection can be prevented.
Councilmember Ward offered his condolences and said, "Mr. Tura's loss is a tragedy not just for his family, but our entire community. We have the data to know where the most dangerous places in our communities are, and I will continue working closely with the city to prevent this from happening again."
Mr. Tura’s brother (shown with Councilmember Ward, and Beryl Forman, Mobility and Marketing Manager for the Blvd BIA in photo above) urged the city to provide more lighting, slower vehicle speeds, and a new crossing to make it safer for others.
For those who work and live on and around El Cajon Boulevard, it is easy to understand the challenges and consequences of crossing the street. With six lanes dedicated to cars, and insufficient cross walks, drivers are encouraged to speed, putting lives at risk. We must improve the street to prevent more tragedies like this. We must do better.
In 2013, KTU+A called the intersection of Kansas St and El Cajon Boulevard as the most dangerous crossing based on collision data on The Boulevard’s West-End. Per request of the Boulevard BIA, they designed a two-phased pedestrian crossing that would prevent a similar type of crash.
Circulate San Diego, the Blvd BIA, and friends and family members of Mr. Tura’s are urging the City to include the new crosswalk in next year’s budget.
We are thankful for the firm support from Councilmember Chris Ward. We will keep Vision Zero supporters up to date to help us advocate for these improvements that can save someone's life.
- Co-Authored by Beryl Forman and Kathleen Ferrier
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Circulate San Diego Partners with America Walks to Form Transit-Walkability Collaborative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Jim Stone||Jean Walcher||Sandy Young|
|cell: 619-994-7668||cell: 619-992-5925||cell: 858-699-6521|
Driver Runs Red Light, Kills Pedestrian Crossing Mira Mesa Boulevard
SAN DIEGO (February 16, 2017) – A 59-year-old female was struck and killed by a car whose driver ran a red light on Mira Mesa Boulevard this morning. The woman was walking with a 64-year-old male who survived the crash with serious injuries, including a broken leg and serious head injuries.
“The terrible collision is a reminder of how important it is for our region’s leaders to commit to Vision Zero, a campaign to make our streets safe from serious injuries and deaths,” said Kathleen Ferrier, director of advocacy, Circulate San Diego, which helped bring Vision Zero to the city. “Traffic injuries and deaths are preventable. The continuous loss of life can be stopped and our leaders must make it a priority to save lives.”Read more
Check out the featured articles in this week's Circulator.
Kathleen Ferrier, director of advocacy for Circulate San Diego, kicks off the Future Transportation Forum.
Kathy Keehan (San Diego County Bicycle Coalition), speaking on bicycles as part of the matrix of transportation options.