Data Proves Alarming Trends of Danger in the Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Advocacy call for action to put Safety First in the City of Los Angeles

Crossing Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles

Alarming new traffic collision maps released by the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) show the City of Los Angeles has a massive traffic safety problem for people walking and bicycling. Intolerable levels of injuries and deaths are happening to people.

“Traffic collisions, and the death or injury of Los Angeles’ people, especially our youngest community members, is heartbreaking and impacts everyone,” says Alexis Lantz, Planning and Policy Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “We applaud the city for recently allocating $1.2 million in funding to develop a citywide strategy for Safe Routes to School to address the safety issue on the streets around our schools, however due to the current hiring freeze, this project could potentially stall if the City does not respond swiftly to provide the staff we need to work on this plan. We need a timeline and plan that we can participate in to help the City take action to improve the safety of all our residents.”

The collision maps, now available for all cities in California through the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), visualize the traffic safety problem and paint an alarming picture of a safety epidemic on the streets of Los Angeles.  The data complements existing research indicating low income communities bear a disproportionate amount of injuries while walking or bicycling.  A new report from Transportation for America, Dangerous by Design, stresses the affect of road design on pedestrian safety, wide high-speed streets like we have is Los Angeles are the least safe for people walking or bicycling. Many of our schools are located on or near wide and heavily traveled streets that lack well marked crosswalks, safe sidewalks, or bicycle infrastructure, especially in our low-income communities.

Photo Credit: V. Karlan

Currently, Federal and State Safe Routes to School funding prioritizes proposals and projects that are rooted in data and strategies that identify need and innovative solutions, and take a comprehensive look at the barriers in neighborhoods for walking and bicycling to school and in other daily trips. The city’s plan to develop a strategy for safety around schools will position Los Angeles to be more competitive for state and federal funding resources.

Providing the funding to do a Citywide Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan was an integral first step made by the City Council earlier this spring.  “Now with the TIMS data, the State of California has provided an amazing tool that allows us to see the neighborhoods, intersections and streets of greatest need and make strategic investments.  We need the City to provide staff, and create a plan to implement safety improvements quickly, so we can see our transportation priorities shift.  For too long, there has been a focus on moving cars to the detriment of our health and communities, the City of Los Angeles needs to put safety and people first,” says Jessica Meaney, California Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

See the pdf of the Press Release here.

3 Responses to Data Proves Alarming Trends of Danger in the Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

  1. Pingback: Collision maps reveal L.A.’s unsafe routes to school; more tragedy in pro cycling (and not just Lance) « BikingInLA

  2. Pingback: Biking in the AV» Blog Archive » Unsafe Routes to School

  3. Pingback: 2011 International Walk/Bike to School Day « Safe Routes to School in California

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