Contact: Kathleen Ferrier
619-544-9255, x. 301 (office)
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.
These deaths are not the first this year and come when at least two others were seriously injured while walking or bicycling in the same time period. Further, they come on the heels of 2015 where 54 people were killed in traffic crashes, and where the number of serious injuries among people walking rose 42% from the previous year.
In the wake of these ongoing tragedies, the transportation advocacy group Circulate San Diego is working on City leaders to dedicate funds in next year’s budget to save lives.
Circulate San Diego and a diverse coalition of 20 organizations have been promoting a program for the last year called Vision Zero that would end these deaths to San Diego.
The concept behind Vision Zero is to reach zero traffic deaths through safer street design, education, and enforcement. The program has been successful in other U.S. and European cities.
San Diego's City Council adopted a Vision Zero resolution last October to support the goal of zero traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025. Since then, Circulate SD has worked with Mayor Faulconer's office and City staff to form a Vision Zero Task Force and create a 1-year implementation strategy. A draft of the strategy is expected to be completed in early April to coincide with the City's budget cycle and ensure that funds are allocated towards a Vision Zero program in the FY2017 budget.
According to Jim Stone, Circulate San Diego's Executive Director, "While we are thrilled to have Mayor Faulconer's support for Vision Zero, now is the time to act. As he prepares his budget for next year, we are calling for money to be dedicated to save lives by implementing Vision Zero. This means funding to make safety improvements on our roads and implement broad based education to promote safe behaviors."
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.