Vision Zero Symposium to reduce pedestrian fatalities Thursday September 29
By Kathleen Ferrier / Circulate San Diego
The City Auditor released a report outlining 18 recommendations the City can take to improve pedestrian safety and help save lives.
The report comes on the heels of four pedestrian injuries and deaths in the last five weeks due to hit and runs and exposes a deadly trend. Between 2001 and 2015, 270 people were killed by cars while walking and more than 8,000 were injured. Numbers were especially high in 2013-2015 with almost 2,000 involved in crashes and 66 left dead.
According to the report, these crashes carry social and family costs, as well as significant economic costs. Between 2013 and 2015 alone, the City estimates a direct economic cost of $134 million for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Quality of life impacts are much larger and estimated to be $656 million to $1.2 billion.
Vision Zero is based on the concept that traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable, and can be eliminated through Engineering/ Infrastructure, Enforcement, and Education.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council took preliminary actions in 2015 to improve safety by committing to a Vision Zero strategy. The goal of the strategy is to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries, including for pedestrians, by 2025. Vision Zero is based on the concept that traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable, and can be eliminated through Engineering/ Infrastructure, Enforcement, and Education.
The report states that as the City moves forward with Vision Zero, it can better utilize existing data to improve safety. Most pedestrian crashes have occurred at intersections, and three percent (73) of these intersections experienced as many as eight repeat crashes, while nine percent (214) experienced as many as five repeat crashes. Intersections where safety improvements were made experienced up to 35% decrease in crashes.
Other recommendations include using data to drive enforcement to deter dangerous behavior, initiating a City-wide public education campaign on pedestrian safety issues, and setting measurable goals for investment and improvements.
Our streets should be safe no matter where we go, or how we get there.
Circulate San Diego released a plan for Vision Zero last year making many of the same recommendations found in the Auditors report. Says Kathleen Ferrier, Director of Advocacy, “Our streets should be safe no matter where we go, or how we get there. The City has made the commitment to stop these senseless deaths, but now it is time to step up and make it happen. We look forward to working with the City to take strategic action.”
Circulate San Diego and partner organizations are hosting a Vision Zero Neighborhood Symposium September 29th. The symposium will bring together residents from San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and leaders in traffic safety, law enforcement, street design, and public health to discuss the pressing issue of saving lives.
Vision Zero Neighborhood Symposium
September 29, 2016 at 5:30pm – 8pm
Bread and Salt Warehouse
1955 Julian Ave
San Diego , CA 92113
Kathleen Ferrier is Director of Advocacy for Circulate San Diego, a regional non-profit organization dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to move, work, learn, and play. Its work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth.