Published : Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | 8:29 AM
[Updated] The City of Pasadena’s efforts to enhance safety for bicyclists citywide just got a financial boost thanks to a $175,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the City’s Department of Transportation for its Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program.
The City said it will use the funding for a year-long motorist safety outreach program aimed at reducing severe injuries and fatalities to pedestrians and bicyclists resulting from crashes. Specifically, this program will bring awareness to motorists of the importance to yield to pedestrians when making left or right turns at signalized intersections and upgrade the City’s collision database for more effective interpretation.
Collision data collected in Pasadena for 2017 showed that over 65% of collisions involving pedestrians occurred at signalized intersections, according to a City spokesperson.
In 2015, the most recent year comprehensive state data was available, the City of Pasadena ranked 4th highest in the number of pedestrians killed or injured in traffic collisions among 57 comparably populated cities throughout California, a statement provided by City of Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said.
Educational efforts funded by the OTS grant will promote safe behaviors by motorists, including avoiding distractions like cell phones, awareness of recent changes in state law that allows for pedestrians to enter crosswalks during the flashing-don’t-walk phase of a pedestrian crossing, and a need to yield to pedestrians crossing a crosswalk. Educational components on pedestrian safety will be especially geared toward motorists and pedestrians in commercial districts.
This grant funding provides an opportunity for the City to potentially reduce the percentage of collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists and reduce the number of fatalities and severe injuries by providing educational resources and improvements to the City collision database.
“Bicycle and pedestrian safety responsibilities go both ways,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “Understanding the rules of the road behind the wheel, on foot or on two wheels helps all roadway users get where they need to go safely.”
Funding for this pedestrian safety program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.