City backs plan to make roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists
SAN DIEGO — A resolution aimed at making San Diego’s roadways safer for pedestrians and bicyclists over the next 10 years was approved Tuesday by the City Council.
The resolution supports the “Vision Zero” plan, unveiled in June by the nonprofit Circulate San Diego, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the city by 2025. The plan would raise medians, create buffers between vehicle and bicycle lanes, and improve crosswalks and sidewalks.
“No loss of life is acceptable when it comes to pedestrians and bicyclists,” Councilman Mark Kersey said. “Death on the streets does not have to be a part of modern city life.”
Kathleen Ferrier of Circulate San Diego told the council members that the plan looks at traffic deaths as preventable. According to the group, one person is killed or seriously injured nearly every day while walking, bicycling or driving on San Diego’s streets.
The resolution calls for city staff to attend meetings of Circulate San Diego’s Vision Zero Advisory Committee to develop a traffic safety plan.
The effort will focus on eight corridors that the nonprofit contends are the most dangerous in San Diego. They include:
- Fifth Avenue, between downtown and Hillcrest;
- Broadway, between downtown and South Park;
- El Cajon Boulevard, between University Heights and East San Diego;
- Euclid Avenue, between City Heights and Lincoln Park;
- Garnet Avenue, in Pacific Beach;
- Imperial Avenue, between the East Village and Encanto;
- Market Street, between downtown and Encanto; and
- University Avenue, between Hillcrest and Rolando.
Ferrier said those corridors connect neighborhoods and are poised for population growth.
Residents of low-income areas have a 10 times greater risk of being struck by a car while walking than people in other parts of San Diego, according to Circulate San Diego.
The plan also includes an education element that would focus on teaching bicyclists how to stay safe and encourage pedestrians to maintain awareness of their surroundings, rather than texting or listening to earphones.
A similar resolution was approved by the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education last month.