#VisionZero Brings New Model for Complete Streets Implementation in San Diego

Circulate San Diego launched #VisionZero last year with significant help from supportive community organizations. Of the 8 corridors identified as high priorities in the campaign, University Avenue was at the top of the list. Why? Because 30% of the City’s pedestrian crashes in the last 15 years occurred somewhere along this corridor.

As part of last year’s budget process, staff in the City’s Transportation and Stormwater Department committed to evaluating the corridor with the highest concentration of crashes and designing engineering improvements.

Since then, City staff determined the ½ mile section of University Avenue - between Fairmount and Euclid Avenues - was the most problematic with the highest number of crashes. Senior traffic engineer Julio Fuentes and his staff member Phil Rust, in partnership with the offices of Mayor Faulconer and Councilwoman Marti Emerald, responded by organizing a University Avenue Working Group with the mission to “Improve safety for all modes as part of Vision Zero.”Capture_Uni_Ave_Work_Group.JPG

The Working Group is comprised of community members, leaders from the City Heights Area Planning Committee, business owners, and nonprofit organizations active in the community. The Working Group has convened four times and with each meeting, discussed the safety problems and potential engineering solutions.

Whereas the City has often put together ‘Steering Committees’ for transportation or land use projects to help guide decision making, this effort is different because it has taken a step by step approach – working with community members along the way - to clearly understand the problem and determine a solution. There has been ample time for working group members to ask questions and discuss. And staff is leading the effort, in lieu of a consulting team. This change has provided more room for direct discussion with staff which has been very helpful.

The first community workshop will occur in mid-April to obtain additional community input.

In short, the effort has been a tremendous success. As Circulate San Diego and its partners work with the City to develop a one year Vision Zero strategy for 2016/2017, we want to see more working groups established: work is needed to extend the traffic calming concepts proposed for University Avenue beyond the study section where many crashes have also occurred, and to take the successful Vision Zero Corridor model to a new corridor, preferably Market Street where complete streets components were included in the community plan update adopted last year, but implementation has not yet started.

Image above: Data shared with Working Group for pedestrian and bicycle involved crashes for 1/2 mile section of University Ave.

Policy Letter: Initial Letter to CAP Implementation Working Group

Circulate San Diego shared a letter with the CAP Implementation Working Group with initial recommendations to implement the land use and transportation elements of the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan. [PDF]

Special Circulator-Support Our Efforts to Improve the Compass Card

Circulate San Diego is committed to making public transit safer and more accessible for all.

Every day our staff puts a tremendous amount of effort into this, and yes, we need your financial support. Please give if you can.

We also rely on your help as civically involved residents.

  • On February 29thKPBS published a story revealing that transit riders were at risk of credit card fraud.
  • Two days later, Circulate San Diego launched an online tool for San Diegans lend their voice to improving the Compass Card. (You can still use it!)
  • Your emails brought two MTS board members together to host a press conference and release a letter calling on MTS for action.
  • This weekend, the Union Tribute editorial page endorsed Circulate San Diego’s call to improve the Compass Card.
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Press Release: Loss of Life on San Diego Streets Continues


Contact: Kathleen Ferrier
619-544-9255, x. 301 (office)
619-571-5231 (cell)

Loss of Life on San Diego Streets Continues 

SAN DIEGO (March 17, 2016) ---  

Two pedestrians were hit while crossing the street over the weekend in separate incidents, with one resulting in death, and the second with life threatening head injuries. The first occurred at 6:30 pm on Fairmount Avenue, a wide four-lane road with high speeds and few crossings. The second pedestrian was a 50-year old man crossing Garnet Avenue, also a wide street, at 10:15 pm in Pacific Beach.

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Policy Letter: SUPPORT for Updates to CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts

Circulate San Diego joined with a number of public health, environmental, housing, and transportation advocacy organizations from around California to sign onto a letter to support recommendations for the Updates to the CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts, which seeks to implement SB 743 successfully.  

Read the entire letter [PDF]

Letter: Support Downtown Mobility, Protected Bike Lanes

Today, Circulate San Diego sent the below letter to Civic San Diego to support the proposed Downtown Mobility Plan which will bring the first protected bike lanes to downtown and provide a network of greenways and bikeways to complement the existing transit services.

A PDF version of the letter is available here.

MTS Customer Service Update

Last week I wrote in the Voice of San Diego about some ways MTS could improve transit by focusing on customer service. This week I had an opportunity to experience another service outage, but it was handled much differently (and better) than previous outages.

On the way into downtown on the Orange Line, it was announced over the train’s speaker system that a south bound Blue Line trolley hand broken down on the tracks somewhere between America Plaza and the City College station. Consequently, they said, the Orange line would proceed as it normally does to Santa Fe Depot, but would be rerouted to the 12th & Imperial station via the Green Line tracks for the first part of its east bound trip, thus not providing service to its typical downtown stops.

The trolley operator took the time to explain what was happening, why, and what the impact would be on riders. This is exactly the kind of communication and information that passengers appreciate. Kudos to the MTS operations team for handling this outage and clearly communicating about it to riders. I’m sure I am not the only one who was made to feel like a valued customer that morning.

Circulator- March 11th


Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on implementing SB 743. Read the entire report here

In 2013, California adopted SB 743, a landmark transportation impact law that holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped. The Complete Streets Task Force, composed of Circulate San Diego, American Planning Association (APA)-San Diego Chapter, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)-San Diego Section, and others, offer this new report [PDF] for consideration.


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#PlanDiego Launch Party


Last night Circulate San Diego launched its #PlanDiego initiative with a rooftop party. #PlanDiego is a region-wide initiative to make planning and land use smarter, more inclusive, and fun!, During the launch party Circulate San Diego released its brand new report Smart Mobility for Smart Growth which focuses on the implementation of SB 743.

The launch was a success and attendees were treated to food, beverage, #PlanDiego land-use conversations, and of course a terrific view of downtown.

Circulate San Diego will be releasing a series of position papers, hosting panel discussions, and organizing community events to elevate the discussion of planning and land use throughout the San Diego region.

Visit the #PlanDiego page to learn more and stay tuned for future reports

Report: Smart Mobility for Smart Growth

COVER11.jpgIn 2013, California adopted SB 743, a landmark transportation impact law that holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped.

Prior to SB 743, transportation analyses for development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) relied on a metric called “Level of Service” (LOS), which measures the duration of expected vehicle delay. To minimize LOS impacts, projects were incentivized to build more car-related infrastructure, which in turn encourages more driving and higher greenhouse gas emissions.

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