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Currently viewing the tag: "Circulate San Diego"

This post, by our partners at Circulate San Diego, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Crossing the street is one of the most dangerous activities a person does every day. That’s why Circulate San Diego has been working with the City of San Diego to adopt and implement a Vision Zero strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025.

In February, 2017, Circulate San Diego released a list of the Fatal Fifteen, the most dangerous intersections in the City of San Diego. Shortly after, the City Auditor released the Pedestrian Safety Performance Audit, which included a list of 15 dangerous intersections. Circulate’s Fatal Fifteen intersections had the highest collision rates in the City, whereas the City Auditor’s list included the intersections with the highest collisions and which were also lacking in three basic improvements: continental crosswalks, pedestrian countdown timers, and countdown audible signals. These lists had some overlap but were mostly different, resulting in 26 intersections across the two lists. Circulate reviewed a tracking table from the City for both lists of intersections, which includes valuable information such as recommended improvements, the status of those improvements, and the cost. It shows that the City has made progress by installing improvements at many of these intersections but that there is still more work that needs to be done to save lives.

1. Many intersections have been improved.

Circulate San Diego is thankful for and encouraged by the progress the City has made to install improvements to the City’s most dangerous intersections. Below, we have highlighted two intersections that show the City’s progress:

University Avenue and Menlo Avenue

University Avenue and Menlo is a Fatal Fifteen intersection on a Vision Zero corridor in City Heights. At this unsignalized intersection, on a four-lane major corridor, the City added a pedestrian refuge, repainted a continental crosswalk, and added a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon.

Before

After

Paradise Valley Road & Deep Dell Road

Paradise Valley Road and Deep Dell Road is perhaps the most dangerous intersection in the City of San Diego. According to data provided by the City, It is one of the top five locations with the most fatal or severe pedestrian crashes and is one of Circulate San Diego’s Fatal Fifteen. The City identified 10 projects to improve this intersection, including installing a red curb, upgrading pedestrian ramps, and adding high visibility crosswalks (pictured). Seven out of 10 improvements have been funded and completed.

Before

After

2. Improvements are still needed at dangerous intersections.

While the progress on many of the Fatal Fifteen intersections represents an improvement, numerous projects remain unfunded even though the City has identified those projects as integral to improve the safety of dangerous intersections. Of the Fatal Fifteen intersections, all are partially or completely funded for at least some improvements. Of the 15 intersections identified by the pedestrian audit, eight intersections contain at least one recommended improvement currently lacking funding. Of those eight intersections, we have highlighted below two that call for serious improvements.

Cass Street & Garnet Avenue

The City identified this intersection in Pacific Beach as one of its top 15 priorities for installing improvements. The City has stipulated seven recommended improvements, yet only four have been funded and completed: installing pedestrian countdown timers, high visibility crosswalks, audible pedestrian signals, and Left Turn Yield signs. The City’s recommendations of installing “needed accessibility improvements,” upgrading 8 inch signal indications to 12 inch, and updating street lights to latest standard LED lack funding. The City puts the cost of the three unfunded recommendations at $68,500.

Before

After

Mission Boulevard & Garnet Avenue

Populated by locals and tourists and located in the heart of Pacific Beach, this intersection is also one of the City’s most dangerous. Circulate San Diego designated Mission Boulevard & Garnet Avenue as a Fatal Fifteen intersection and the City placed this intersection on its top 15 list for intersection improvements. In order to improve the safety of this intersection, the City made six recommendations: 1) install continental crosswalks; 2) install pedestrian countdown timers; 3) install audible pedestrian countdown timers; 4) install needed accessibility improvements; 5) install Left Turn Yield signs; and 6) upgrade street lighting. The City has installed continental crosswalks, pedestrian countdown timers, audible pedestrian countdown timers, and Left Turn Yield signs; however, installing needed accessibility improvements and upgrading street lighting remain unfunded. According to the City, completing the rest of the recommended improvements would cost only $14,500.

Before

After

The City has made great strides to install continental crosswalks, pedestrian countdown timers, red curbs, and/or left turn yield signs on most of the 26 (the combination of both lists of most dangerous intersections) intersections where those improvements were needed. Based on the data from the City on high pedestrian crash locations, the City has been proactive by installing these and other low-cost improvements.  Unfortuantely, the more costly recommended improvements such as upgrading street lighting and accessibility improvements frequently lack programmed funding.

Since the City has been proactive in implementing numerous, low-cost improvements and financing others, 16 of the 26 dangerous intersections have all their recommended improvements either completed or funded for implementation by the City. However, crucial improvements for the remaining intersections have been placed on the unfunded needs list.

The following table lists the names of the 26 dangerous intersections and the recommended improvements yet to be funded. The Fatal Fifteen intersections are in bold while the City’s top 15 intersections are in italics, and the four intersections that overlap are in bold and italic.

Name of Intersection Council District Listed Estimated Cost ($) Recommended Intersection Improvements that Currently Lack Funding
Mission Blvd & Garnet Av 2 14,500 Install needed accessibility improvements, upgrade street lighting
Palm (SB) Av & 16th (SB) St* 8 0 N/A
Paradise Valley Rd & Deep Dell Rd 4 14,356 Upgrade street lighting, install 2 signal heads
University Av & Marlborough Av 9 0 All improvements funded or completed
4th Av & B St 3 0 All improvements funded or completed**
5th Av & B St 3 0 All improvements funded or completed**
6th Av. & Broadway          3 0 All improvements funded or completed**
Broadway & 5th Av 3 0 All improvements funded or completed**
Coronado (SB) Av & Thermal Av 8 0 All improvements funded or completed**
El Cajon Bl & 36th St 3 0 All improvements funded or completed
Euclid Av & Naranja St 4 0 All improvements funded or completed
University Av & 52nd St 9 0 All improvements funded or completed**
University Av & Fairmount Av 9 0 All improvements funded or completed
University Av & Menlo AV
9 0 All improvements funded or completed
University Av & Park Bl 3 0 All improvements funded or completed**
1st Av & A St 3 61,000 Develop project scope for pop-out on northwest corner
30th St & North Park Wy 3 2,500 Upgrade lighting to LED
Cass St & Garnet Av 2 68,500 Install needed accessibility improvements, upgrade 8” signal indications to 12”, update street lights to latest standard LED
Cesar E Chavez PY & Logan Av* 8 0 N/A
G St & 6th Av 3 0 All improvements funded or completed
Ingraham St & La Playa Av 2 2,500 Upgrade street lights to latest standard LED
La Jolla Village Dr & I-5 Off-Ramp* 1 0 N/A
Ocean View Bl & 32nd St 8 0 All improvements funded or completed
Robinson Av & 6th Av 3 11,600 Install needed accessibility improvements
University Av & 30th St 3 0 All improvements funded or completed
University Av & Vermont St 3 11,600 Install needed accessibility improvements
Total $186,556

 

** Listed Recommendation is to “Evaluate for audible pedestrian signals”

As shown in the table, the total amount of funding required to implement all the currently unfunded, recommended improvements is $186,556, according to the City’s estimates. The City of San Diego has made many intersections safer by implementing infrastructure improvements that Circulate San Diego advocated for: continental crosswalks, pedestrian countdown timers, and audible pedestrian signals. Still, now is the time to prioritize pedestrian safety at intersections where lives are at risk, and where safety improvements have already been identified.

Cross-posted at Circulate San Diego’s site.

This post, by our partners at Circulate San Diego, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Vision Zero encourages cities to take a data-driven approach to reducing serious injuries and traffic deaths. It is meant to be a catalyst for moving projects forward. However, it is the people who advocate for this initiative that truly build the urgency for action.

The Vision Zero Coalition is a group of advocates that are representatives of organizations throughout San Diego. Together with constituents of their community, they work towards increasing street safety by focusing on moving projects forward that protect pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorist. They also work to inform residents about Vision Zero and to build momentum around critical events that can lead to long-term change, such as the City’s budget approval.

Addressing fatalities means investing in upgrading city streets to incorporate improvements that create a safe space for people who walk, bike, take public transit and drive. The City’s Fiscal Year Budget is an opportunity to fund projects, programs, and prioritize initiatives throughout San Diego. Advocating that the budget reflect funding for projects envisioned by Vision Zero is a key component of assuring that our city is investing in our safety.

Circulate staffer, Paola Boylan, advocating for Vision Zero funding at FY2018 Budget Hearing.

Every year San Diego releases a proposed budget for the following fiscal year and city council members hold a meeting to listen to public opinions about the budget. This offers the public an opportunity to voice their support for both projects that are funded and those that are not. However, deciphering the budget can be intimidating and overwhelming. In order to address this issue, advocates from the Coalition came together to break down the budget components and rally community members.

This year, Circulate San Diego partnered with Bike SD, the Climate Action Campaign, and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to hold the rally and build support for pedestrian and bicycle improvements. At the gathering, people spoke about the different projects reflected in the budget that needed public support. Attendees were invited to attend the public council budget hearing meeting and were helped with speaking points that could be used to build their own testimonies.

Advocates from various neighborhoods came together at the budget hearing meeting to voice their support for pedestrians and bicycle safety improvement. The City responded by approving funding for several projects listed below.

Asks

Status

Implementation of protected bikeways outlined in the Downtown Mobility Plan. $2500000

Funds Allocated

Improvements at 15 of the deadliest intersections to ensure basic, low-cost pedestrian safety infrastructure improvements such as high visibility crosswalks, audible signals, and countdown signals are present at all intersections.

Installed at all intersections identified by the pedestrian audit, not Circulate SD

Phase 2 design of intersection SR94 at Euclid Avenue, one of the eight Vision Zero corridors.

Fully funded

Funding for a Transit Priority Area Parking Assessment

$250,000 allocated

Although these successes are a reflection of the City investing in street improvements, more support can be given to Vision Zero projects. Indicating that more work is ahead for advocates as we work towards building safer streets in our city. However, it is clear that by voicing our support for Vision Zero, we can have an impact.

Cross-posted at Circulate San Diego’s site.

This post, by our partners at Circulate San Diego, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On May 18, 2017 the task force convened and filled a conference room in the City’s Administration Building to the point that it began to feel cramped. The task force is an advisory committee that meets once a month, comprised of City staff from various departments and advocates, including Circulate San Diego, that advises the Mayor’s Office on how to implement Vision Zero. Together they reviewed and discussed the efforts that are being made by the city to further the goals of Vision Zero. Many were excited to learn about the time and effort that is being placed by our local government to pursue funding that will help further their ability to bring better infrastructure that creates a safer environment for walking and biking in San Diego.

Among the accomplishments discussed at the meeting were several bike and pedestrian projects that are close to completion. Some of the highlights include a new median equipped with a pedestrian refuge and other crosswalk improvements on University Avenue, as well as pedestrian improvements along Orange Avenue between 49th Street & Winona Avenue. These projects were in conception well before Vision Zero; however, the goal of the initiative is to eliminate all traffic fatalities by the year 2025. That means that any project that improves traffic safety is helping accomplish the main objective of Vision Zero.

The Vision Zero strategy is to take a data driven approach to identify where collisions are concentrated in the city and prioritize improvements in the areas where our citizens are most susceptible to crashes. This strategy has been proven to significantly reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries throughout the country, and to encourage the city to look for funding that enables them to implement similar tactics.

One notable example is the University Avenue Complete Streets Project, which happened because analysis spurred by Circulate San Diego’s Vision Zero Reportshowed that it was one of the most dangerous road segments in the city. The project will redesign a portion of University Avenue from Fairmont to Euclid with roundabouts, bike lanes, and extended sidewalks, and was just awarded a $5,400,000 Caltrans grant. More projects like this are critical to ensuring Vision Zero is successful.

The task force learned in May that the city has received a $250,000 grant from the Systematic Safety Analyses Report Program that will be used to conduct a thorough crash analysis in the City of San Diego. The report will ideally facilitate guidance in identifying problem areas, strengthen the city’s ability to pursue funding for improvement projects, and appropriately allocate funds to the areas that are in most need.

The San Diego Vision Zero Task Force has grown significantly since the adoption of the initiative in 2015. Circulate San Diego appreciates that the City of San Diego has embraced Vision Zero and we look forward to working with them as partners to help advance more successful projects like the University Avenue Complete Streets projects.

Cross-posted at Circulate San Diego’s site.