San Diego 2018 Pedestrian Fatalities Spike

San Diego pedestrian fatalities in 2018 were twice that of reported pedestrian fatalities in 2017.

The number of pedestrians killed by cars spiked last year to 34 up from 17 in 2017, according to numbers from the San Diego Police Department. Those severely hurt while crossing the street or using the sidewalk rose to 93 last year up from 75 in 2017, while serious injuries for bikers increased to 23, up from 19.


‘Fatal 15’ intersections overhauled as San Diego grapples with pedestrian death
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Pedestrian injuries and bicyclist injuries also increased in 2018.

San Diego also announced 15 of the most dangerous intersections with completed improvements under the Vision Zero Complete Streets goal of eliminating traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries by 2025. The San Diego Mayor also announced a new $2.45 million grant from CalTrans to improve hundreds of more intersections as well as work toward the complete streets goal.

“This is all about making it safer for everyone – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – as they navigate city streets,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Making crosswalks more visible and adding audible walk signals are just a few of the simple yet effective ways we can make our neighborhoods safer. I look forward to installing these same safety improvements at hundreds more intersections over the next few years as we rebuild San Diego’s transportation network for the future.”


City Completes Safety Upgrades at 15 of San Diego’s Most Crash-Prone Intersection
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Mayor Faulconer Announces New Grant Funding to Bring Safety Improvements to Hundreds More Intersections as Part of ‘Vision Zero’ Plan to Reduce Accidents

It is a good time to remember Vision Zero since President’s Day apparently used to be Bicycle Day.

In Boston, cyclists used the public holiday to hold bicycle races before cheering throngs. Local bike stores opened their doors to entice the race-day crowds, bringing them in off the snowy streets to preview the pleasures of spring. February 22 soon marked the start of the season, the day on which bicycle retailers held open houses to show off their latest models to eager crowds. “Yesterday was bicycle day in Boston,” reported the Boston Globe in 1895.


When Presidents Day Was Bicycle Day
Long before Washington’s Birthday was marked by car sales, Americans celebrated their first president by pedaling.


But this recent story about a man in a wheel chair who was hit by cars 3 times in just 10 months really drives home the point of why we need to meet our Vision Zero goals.


Nearly 6,000  pedestrians in the United States were killed in traffic crashes in 2016, according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Detroit Free Press, in a series called Death on foot, puts it this way: That’s twice the number of deaths tied directly to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


This man would like you to stop hitting him with cars

Walk Bike To Work Or School – Get Started

A Beginner’s Guide to Biking to Work

If that bicyclist whizzing by seems a little happier than the average gridlock-bound car commuter, you’re not imagining it: A recent study found that two-wheeled commuters were happier than their gas pedal-stomping, car-caged peers.

Becoming a bike commuter might seem daunting, but the benefits can be worth it: exercising regularly, saving money, decreasing your carbon footprint, absolving yourself of guilt over that break-room doughnut.

It is not just for adults – kids also benefit from walking or biking to school. For added safety, folks create walking busses or bike trains. October 10, 2018 was the national #WalkToSchoolDay but why not try to make that everyday?

Learn More: Safe Routes To School

In San Diego, join San Diego County Bicycle Coalition – advocates for bicycling in San Diego. Check out their group rides and other events.

Walk Bike Solana Beach – lots of good resources, see their bicycle map.

Bike San Diego – check out their calander for group rides and special events – like Taco Tuesdays.

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals – San Diego

Interactive Map showing bicycle and walking routes in San Diego.

Getting started with some of these local bicycling and walking advocates is a great way to have fun and learn the ropes from folks happy to share.

Pedestrian deaths highest level in 28 years

The latest traffic crash data is being crunched and the trends are not good. Hit and Run incidents are steadily increasing, bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to this problem. The IIHS has recently released another study as reported in the Washington Post, Pedestrian deaths soar 46 percent, insurance group finds.

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016, up 46 percent from 2009, when such deaths were at a low point, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said in a report issued Tuesday. That’s the most pedestrian deaths since 1990, and at a much faster rate than for overall traffic fatalities, which rose 11 percent over the same period.

San Diego has an ambitious Vision Zero plan to reduce all traffic related fatalities by improving design infrastructure for all users.

Chilling Report on Hit and Run Epidemic

The Washington Post had a disturbing article on the steadily increasing hit and run incidents since 2009, “Cyclists say chilling report on hit-and-run crashes points up need to redesign streets for safety.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said in a report this week fatal hit-and-run crashes have reached the highest point on record in 2016, having increased by more than 7 percent every year since 2009. Nearly 65 percent of the victims are bicyclists and pedestrians.

Auto insurance uninsured driver / under insured (UIM / UM) coverage can help you and even your passengers with a hit and run unidentified vehicle. In addition, your auto insurance protects you even when you are a pedestrian, or riding a bicycle.

In California, your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, in writing. Coverage is usually designated on the face page of your automobile insurance policy by the letter or letters “U” or “UM”.

Some insurance companies try to talk motorcycle owners into waiving UM and UIM coverage. Do not let this happen. Never waive UM or UIM coverage.

San Diego Bicycling – Will We Have Vision Zero or Zero Vision?

San Diego’s infrastructure funding gap grows by $310M
San Diego Union Tribune
January 28, 2018

An ambitious plan to build 77 miles of bicycle lanes throughout the San Diego region is behind schedule — with less than four miles open to the public and more than $60 million spent. Officials with the San Diego Association of Governments have said that much of that money has been for used for design and community outreach, which accounts for roughly 40 percent of an average project under the program.

Still, it is an ambitious plan and in the end, San Diego County will have an amazing network. But, the delays really are adding up.

But, on the other hand, incredibly projects are also breaking ground or close to opening.

SANDAG Budget Has More Delays For Priority Bike Projects
KPBS
2-8-2018

One project that would create separated bike and pedestrian paths along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park is facing a construction delay of about 10 months. The corridor is a key missing link in San Diego’s bike network that would connect densely populated Mid-City neighborhoods with downtown.

Meanwhile, with all the delays and already many years out from the beginning of Vision Zero push pedestrian traffic fatalities are happening too often in San Diego County, fatalities which could and should be prevented under the Vision Zero goals.

Pedestrian deaths in San Diego rack up as city drags on Vision Zero
San Diego Union Tribune
2-11-2018

While traffic-related fatalities in the city declined last year, the number of deaths still eclipsed homicides, including 17 pedestrian deaths on top of hundreds of often crippling injuries. Since January, nine people walking the streets of San Diego have been killed by motorists.

So, we’re behind schedule, and unlike New York City having the lowest pedestrian fatalities to an all time low, we’re still seeing pedestrian fatalities, and numerous crashes leaving people seriously injured with life long lasting consequences.

At the same time, more than 500 pedestrians a year are wounded or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents, according to a City Auditor’s report from 2016.

‘Vision Zero’ brings traffic fatalities in New York to an all-time low
L.A. Times
2-1-2018

It appears to be working. Total traffic fatalities in the city, including those involving pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motor vehicles, fell from 299 in 2013 to an all-time low of 214 last year.

Pedestrian deaths were down from 184 to 101, though deaths of bicyclists rose from 12 to 23.

A lot of challenges remain for San Diego County. We know that the idea and strategy of Vision Zero works, prioritize the most dangerous streets and intersections, make road design safer, and when this all happens, everyone has a place to move in traffic safely, cars, pedestrians, strollers, bicycles. And, studies show that these road improvements actually make shopping in cities better for businesses because people can walk around and people are drawn to shopping and restaurants where these improvements have happened.

But data points to priorities, and improvements take studies and money, and time. What are we going to do if we are running out of both money and time and the organization for collecting the data and prioritizing the projects is also lagging.

San Diego’s infrastructure funding gap grows by $310M
San Diego Union Tribune
2-13-18

On sidewalks, the projected need is $166 million and only $14 million is expected to be available.

There are similar gaps on streetlights, $204 million versus $1.4 million; traffic signals, $144 million versus $11 million; and bike lanes, $122 million versus $6 million.

Bicycle Law – “Idaho Stop”

California is considering legalizing the Idaho Stop for bicyclists.

Many transportation safety experts say that the Idaho Stop is actually safer for bicyclists.

The change would be to the part 21200 California Vehicle Code to read:

[…] a person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection or approaching from another highway or street so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping. However, if required for safety, the person shall stop before entering the intersection, and may proceed after yielding the right-of-way.

The California Bicycle Coalition has a petition and is looking for signatures in support of this Assembly Bill and they explain the issue succinctly:

Almost all street intersections in California pose as a safety threat to people on bikes. The longer it takes for a person on a bike to pass through an intersection, the greater likelihood that they’ll get hit by an oncoming vehicle. […] When people on bikes cross more safely at intersections and traffic flows more smoothly, it is a win-win for everyone.

The Vision Zero Department of Transportation push to end all deaths on our roads for all road users, is a great ideal to strive for and while improvements have been made, we’re still falling behind:

The year 2015 marked the largest increase in traffic deaths since 1966 and preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show an alarming uptick in fatalities – an increase of about 10.4 percent as compared to the number of fatalities in the first half of 2015.

Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco all have the unfortunate claim to being in the top ten most dangerous cities for cyclists in the USA, per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2015 data. sadly, and Bicycle Advocacy at @BIKELA pointedly calls this out as Zero Vision.

Bicycle Pedestrian Skate Boards etc. Open Streets

Should be a blast and spectacular route to see on Sunday