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Currently viewing the tag: "Vision Zero"

This is a joint statement from California Walks and WALKSacramento.

Last Monday a uniformed Sacramento police officer violently arrested Nandi Cain, Jr., after stopping Mr. Cain for “crossing the street unlawfully near the intersection of Cypress Street and Grand Avenue in North Sacramento.”

Dashcam video of Nandi Cain, Jr., “jaywallking” from Systemic Failure

From the police dashcam video, it is clear that Mr. Cain was crossing lawfully at an unmarked crosswalk. According to the California Vehicle Code (CVC)—which comprises the state’s traffic laws—and Sacramento City Code, pedestrians are legally permitted to cross at marked and unmarked crosswalks, meaning all intersections unless otherwise prohibited.

Unfortunately, this incident highlights a greater issue in Del Paso Heights and across Sacramento’s underserved communities. According to the Sacramento Bee, the Del Paso Heights police district has been responsible for more than two-thirds of jaywalking citations issued, with half going to African-Americans who only make up 15% of the city’s population. According to a statement by Black Lives Matter Sacramento, this is an all-too-familiar reality for people of color, especially African-Americans, in Sacramento’s communities.

Through the city’s Vision Zero process to eliminate roadway fatalities, we know that in Sacramento, 60% of fatalities occur on roads marked 40 mph and above. Nearly one-half of fatalities occur in underserved communities, although they only account for one-fourth of total roadway miles. Thus, people of color are not only more likely to be cited for crossing unsafely, but they are also at a disproportionately higher risk of being killed while walking or biking in their neighborhoods. Taken together, these facts make walking a far more dangerous activity in the communities where people rely most often on walking for transportation. Though we absolutely must reform the way we police the most vulnerable users of our roads, it is imperative that our streets are redesigned now to eliminate these fatalities and the need to cross high-speed arterials unsafely—like Arden Way, El Camino Avenue, Norwood Avenue, and Rio Linda Boulevard.

We invite the City of Sacramento, including the City Council, the Police Department, and the Public Works Department to work with our respective organizations and with affected communities to ensure that civil servants and civic leaders truly understand the challenges faced by people—particularly people of color, immigrants, low-income people, and people with limited English proficiency—simply trying to get around their neighborhoods. The city’s Vision Zero process affords us an opportunity to take immediate and collective action to stem and reverse the disproportionate risk of death and serious injuries from traffic violence in communities of color and in low-income communities that are too often targeted by biased and punitive enforcement. We must act now.

Assemblymember David Chiu Announces Automated Speed Enforcement Legislation Alongside San Francisco and San Jose Colleagues and Advocates

California Assemblymember David Chiu joined San Francisco Mayor Lee, San Jose Mayor Liccardo, and state and local advocates yesterday to introduce important state legislation needed to achieve Vision Zero. Assembly Bill (AB) 342—also known as the Safe Streets Act of 2017—amends the California Vehicle Code (CVC) to authorize the use of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems to enforce excessive speeding violations over the posted limit in the City and County of San Francisco and the City of San Jose for a five-year pilot period.

California Walks, Walk San Francisco, and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets support this legislation and stand with the family members, loved ones, and friends of those who have suffered from preventable traffic crashes. Unsafe speed is the single highest factor of fatal and severe injury collisions in both cities, and it is a fundamental predictor of crash severity. In particular, seniors, youth, and people walking and bicycling, bear disproportionately greater risks of injury or death in speed-related crashes.

“Too many people are losing their lives or living with life-altering injuries from traffic collisions,” said Tony Dang, Executive Director of California Walks. “This safety legislation would enable cities to adopt a proven technology that will make our streets safe for everyone.”

“Automated Speed Enforcement can play a key role in helping make our cities safer, particularly for our pedestrians and bicyclists, seniors and children,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We need to explore all opportunities to protect the most vulnerable users of our streets, and I’d like to thank Assemblymember Chiu, Mayor Lee and our many other partners for their support of piloting this proven technology in our two cities.”

California Walks and its partners, locally and across the state, are committed to working toward zero traffic deaths and serious injuries through safety initiatives which build better and safer streets, enforce the most dangerous traffic violations, educate the public on traffic safety, and adopt policy changes in order to eliminate traffic deaths and reduce severe injury collisions. Assemblymember Chiu’s introduction of AB 342 is a bold declaration in support of safe streets in California.

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WalkSJ Walkable Poster

As part of Cal Walks’ work, we foster connections between advocates at the local level and coordinate statewide policy advocacy with our local partners. Here in Santa Clara County and San Jose–where I’m based–we work both with a coalition of individual residents and community-based organizations as well as with city and county agencies.

This year, a large part of our San Jose focus will be our partnership with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and city staff as we work together on the first full year of Vision Zero implementation, and we’ll have more to share in the coming months.  We’re also getting our new encouragement program, Walk San Jose, up and running. We’re honored to receive support from The Knight Foundation–which recently announced its latest round of San Jose funding–for the Walk San Jose project. This project is also supported in part by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) project. The PICH funding covers, among other expenses, the translation of all the project materials into Spanish and Vietnamese.

The premise of Walk San Jose is simple: a series of community-identified walking loops across the city, each focused on a different neighborhood and its people, history, architecture, public art, natural resources, and more–the possibilities are truly endless. The loops are intended to be explorations of a community’s assets, as defined by the residents and community leaders themselves. The overarching goal of Walk San Jose is as simple as the premise: Let’s expose residents and visitors to our city’s diverse communities; let’s facilitate meaningful and actionable conversations among people on local issues, opportunities, and challenges; and let’s do this while promoting increased physical activity, community building, and advocacy for creating healthy, safe and vibrant neighborhoods–all through the lens of walking.

On January 12, we hosted a “Loops + Lunch” kick-off for stakeholders from across the city to begin to build support for the project and to gather feedback at this beta phase of the project.

While we debuted the first 2 loops at once, the remaining 4 inaugural loops will be established via community-led processes. The vision is that stakeholders will workshop to map their community assets, prioritize them for a loop, and conduct walk audits as a part of the planning process. One overarching goal of the project is to empower residents to have a voice in the processes that affect walkability and pedestrian safety, all while celebrating what makes these communities so wonderful.

Each loop will debut publicly with a celebratory group walk, culminating with reflective, connecting discussions over food and drink at an establishment within that neighborhood. After the debut walk, the loop cards will be available in shops, libraries, and offices throughout the community. The 4”x 6” loop cards are free, handheld, and self-guided. And if the design looks familiar, that’s because we’ve teamed up with City Fabrick, the nonprofit urban design studio that created the Walk Long Beach loop cards.

Please join me on a walk soon, and get in touch about how we can help curate a loop in your neighborhood.