Nonprofit pushes to curb traffic deaths

SAN DIEGO -- Fifty-four pedestrians and bikers were killed and over 200 were critically injured in crashes around San Diego last year.

In response, nonprofit Vision Zero Network is working with the City of San Diego in hopes of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The organizers say it's a lofty but attainable goal.

“The goal is not to eliminate crashes," said Kathleen Ferrier with Vision Zero. "The goal is to eliminate death and severe injury and one of the key strategies to do that is designing streets so that they’re safe and slowing cars down."

"People in lower-income neighborhoods are the hardest hit," Ferrier added. "It’s an equity issue."

Researchers found there are eight corridors most prone to collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists: Broadway Avenue, Market Street, Imperial Avenue, Fifth Avenue, University Avenue, El Cajon Boulevard, Euclid Avenue and Garnet Avenue.

“University Avenue on its own carries 30 percent of all pedestrian crashes in the city,” Ferrier said. “But because of decades of disinvestment in our older neighborhoods, that are now prone to see the most growth, it’s absolutely critical to put new resources there,” Ferrier said.

According to the nonprofit, the city plans to spend more than $12 million in taxpayer dollars on Vision Zero. About $250,000 will go toward improving pedestrian safety at intersections with a high number of crashes.

“But because of decades of disinvestment in our older neighborhoods that are now prone to see the most growth with new development, it’s absolutely critical to put resources there,” Ferrier said.

From that same pot of money, the city is also spending $500,000 in areas that the data shows are not as dangerous neighborhoods for crashes: La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Bernardo.

“The question has to be, with limited resources, where can the city spend money not to create just safe streets, which of course is very important, but to save lives?” she said.

FOX 5 reached out to the city for an answer but has not received a response.

You can check transportation injuries in your neighborhood, by clicking here.