Press Release: Terrible accident in City Heights shines light on continuing uptick in pedestrian injuries and deaths
Contact: Kathleen Ferrier
619-544-9255, x. 301 (office)
SAN DIEGO (August 11, 2015) ---
Last Friday, two teenage boys were injured while walking in the City Heights neighborhood. One of the victims, a 13-year old boy, had his leg pinned down by the passing car and suffered severe injuries. According to San Diego Police, the boys were hit by a white Volvo which subsequently fled the scene, making this the second hit and run crash involving a pedestrian, in the last two weeks, the previous occurrence on Market Street.
On Friday evening, a group of 30 San Diegans enthusiastic about the need for safe streets came together for Circulate San Diego's first #VisionZero bike ride. In one trip, this bike ride showed us the good and the bad on San Diego's streets and focused on the Vision Zero corridors. We were joined by two bike police officers from the San Diego Police Department. They made sure that the riders were safe biking along busy streets. Circulate is thankful for the support that SDPD has shown for Vision Zero in San Diego!Read more
The Inner Circle:
Michelle Luellen, Project Coordinator
During Michelle Luellen's first year working at Circulate San Diego, she has done everything from conducting community walks in Spanish to co-authoring a strategic planning report for the organization. As a Project Coordinator, Michelle's work includes promoting walking and biking from Chula Vista to Carlsbad while also writing Safe Routes to School outreach and activity plans for San Ysidro and Lemon Grove. Read about Michelle's contribution to Circulate here.
During Michelle Luellen's first year working at Circulate San Diego, she has done everything from conducting community walks in Spanish to co-authoring a strategic planning report for the organization. As a Project Coordinator, Michelle's work includes promoting walking and biking from Chula Vista to Carlsbad while also writing Safe Routes to School outreach and activity plans for San Ysidro and Lemon Grove.Read more
“SANDAG has broad flexibility to implement Transnet in a way that is more friendly to transit then they have been willing to admit,” said Colin Parent, policy counsel for the transportation think tank Circulate San Diego, which released a study on the issue last week called Transnet Today.
With new emerging funding sources, the study argues, the sales tax can be modified by a two-thirds vote of the SANDAG board to adequately meet the region’s transit needs. A review of the ordinance is mandated every 10 years, with the next review scheduled for 2019.
Letter expressing Circulate San Diego's concern with SANDAG’s Draft Transit Oriented Development strategy. [PDF]
On Wednesday, San Diego's 12th pedestrian was killed in 2015, the 2nd in four days. We know very little about this most recent victim, a woman who died after a Nissan Altima collided with her at an intersection on Ingraham Street around 9:30pm in Mission Bay Park. Two days earlier, San Diego's 11th pedestrian fatality occurred in front of the Convention Center downtown, this time a woman between 40 and 50 years old. The driver of a small silver Ford traveling westbound on Harbor Drive hit her and fled the scene; the suspect is still on the loose.
Collisions Involving Bicyclists and Pedestrians Resulting in an Injury (San Diego Police Department, June 2015)
Injuries on the Rise
Recent data from the Police Department shows that collisions for people walking and biking in the City have increased almost 30%. Collisions resulting in injury have increase 32%.
These deaths and injuries are preventable. In June, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Mayor Pro Tem Marti Emerald, Councilmember Mark Kersey, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, and others announced their support for Vision Zero. At the heart of Vision Zero is the belief that death and injury on city streets is unacceptable, and more importantly, is preventable.
The support of San Diego's civic leaders is an important first step: this work could not be done without the leadership and support that Mayor Faulconer and Councilmembers Emerald, Kersey, and others have shown. However, without action their support will not stop the daily carnage on our streets.
As detailed in our Vision Zero white paper, one person is seriously injured or killed while walking, biking, or driving in the City of San Diego. That means on average, 25 people have died or been seriously injured getting from point A to B in San Diego since our leadership voiced their support for ending all traffic deaths.
After an August recess, the City's Infrastructure Committee will review a Vision Zero resolution in their September meeting. The resolution will recognize the problem of traffic deaths and form an advisory committee to create a strategy to eliminate traffic deaths in 10 years. Getting the resolution passed from the Infrastructure Committee to the City Council is the crucial next step to make Vision Zero a reality.
Circulate Releases TransNet Today:
Report on SANDAG's Flexibility to Advance Transit
On Wednesday, Circulate San Diego released a groundbreaking report titled TransNet Today, which details the significant funding flexibility that SANDAG has to advance public transportation construction in the San Diego region. The report is available on our mobile-friendly website or as a pdf.
TransNet Today identifies the tools that SANDAG can use to implement the TransNet Ordinance, and leverage other state and federal funding sources to develop a regional transportation network that will help San Diego meet its long-term climate goals while improving the transit experience for more than 95 million passenger trips per year.
Along with TransNet Today, Circulate San Diego simultaneously released two formal letters responding to SANDAG’s draft Regional Plan:
- Environmental Analysis Comment Letter: Circulate San Diego’s comment letter explains why SANDAG’s draft environmental analysis for their Regional Plan fails to analyze feasible alternatives that are consistent with SANDAG’s flexibility to implement TransNet, as outlined in Transnet Today.
- Regional Plan Comment Letter: Circulate San Diego’s letter regarding the Regional Plan requests that SANDAG advance transit and active transportation projects, without amending TransNet, as TransNet Today explains can be done.
Summary of Letter:
Circulate San Diego is asking the SANDAG Board to make modest, valuable, and achievable changes to the 2015 Draft Regional Plan to improve transportation and land uses in the region. Our request is organized around five main ideas.
1. Circulate San Diego cannot support a Regional Plan that would prevent the region from reaching the GHG reduction goals in Governor’s Executive Order S-3-05.
2. Circulate San Diego is not asking TransNet to be amended.
3. For San Diego to remain competitive with State and Federal funding, it must accelerate early transit and active transportation projects.
4. SANDAG has a variety of mechanisms available to pay for the advancement of transit and active transportation.
5. Circulate San Diego would support a Regional Plan that advances key projects that benefit the region.
On July 15, 2015, Circulate San Diego published "TransNet Today: Keeping faith with the voters while achieving the region's transportation goals."
This report makes the following findings:
(1) SANDAG’s Draft 2015 Regional Plan is inadequately designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote health, equity, and economic development.
(2) SANDAG must shift priorities toward transit and active transportation to maintain the region’s ability to compete for federal and state transportation funds.
(3) SANDAG has the flexibility to advance a number of transit and active transportation projects in the Regional Plan without needing to amend TransNet.
As SANDAG makes its plans to invest in the future of San Diego’s transportation system, it faces the same challenges that other regions throughout the state and the country are grappling with including maintaining rapidly aging infrastructure, serving the changing needs and preferences of residents, and addressing sustainability, health, the economy, and equity.
Read the report here.