The Pasadenan

City Leads State in Pedestrian Fatalities

Recent ranking showing Pasadena as the second highest location for the number of pedestrian related fatal and injury collisions in the state has led city officials, including police and city council members, to take a hard look at factors surrounding the findings done by the California Office of Traffic safety.  The findings were reported for cities with populations between 100,001 and 250,000 people.  A number of councilmembers questions the statistics arguing that the city has more people walking around than other cities. From 2005 to 20010 pedestrian collisions peaked in 2008 with 104 of which only one was fatal. In 2010 the number dropped to 73 none of which caused death.     “Not all cities have a Rose Bowl loop, so you’ve got perhaps thousands of people walking around,” said Councilmember Steve Haderlein. “I’m wondering if that statement might be a little misleading in that we may have more opportunities for those kinds of things (Injuries and fatalities).”   Haderlien added, “It not necessarily a dangerous place to walk, but there is a lot of people walking so we end up with more accidents.”   Joaquin Siques, an engineer for the city’s Department of Transportation, said one reason was that Pasadena was a destination hub for all kinds of activity not just around the Rose Bowl.  Siques also said that right turns result in the highest number of collisions something that would be address in an upcoming safety campaign set to debut next month.   “It’s either, the vehicle making a right turn on red and looking over their left shoulder to try and get into to gap or the vehicle making the right turn on green who’s not looking for the pedestrian up the sidewalk behind them,” he explained.  A number of solutions were discussed including, more signs, colored walking areas and inlight, so called, “Sharks Tooth” crosswalks.  Through two grants city officials said there three key components to a safety campaign, including, education focused on motorist awareness, a study to identify treatments that may enhance pedestrian safety at intersections, and increased enforcement of violations with pedestrian safety by police.   “I want to commend the department for helping to launch this educational process and get people thinking in new ways about how the street network functions and it ties very neatly into the mobility element of the General Plan,” Councilmember Terry Tornek said.

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Tags: Pasadena, collisions, fatal, injury, pedestrian

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