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Pasadena Department of Transportation Plans to Implement Traffic ‘Safe System’ to Prevent Pedestrian Deaths, Injuries

Published on Monday, July 25, 2022 | 5:29 am

Pasadena Transportation Director Laura Rubio-Cornejo will introduce a proposal on Tuesday, July 26, to implement a ‘Safe System’ approach to address traffic safety throughout the City and prevent pedestrian deaths and injuries resulting from collisions on Pasadena’s road systems. 

The ‘Safe System’ refers to an approach to road safety first adopted in Sweden in 1997 and known as “Vision Zero.” Its goal was zero traffic deaths and held that that even one death on our transportation system is unacceptable.

The proposal will be heard in an information-only presentation before the Municipal Services Committee of the Pasadena City Council which meets Tuesday starting at 4 p.m. 

In a preliminary report, Rubio-Cornejo said pedestrians and bicyclists make up a disproportionate number of fatalities resulting from traffic collisions in Pasadena. 

“Over the past 10-years, pedestrians have accounted for five percent of the total number of collisions in the City, but pedestrians make up 37 percent of the total number of fatalities resulting from traffic collisions,” the report said. 

“Recent trends show that while Pasadena is below the County average per capita, and comparable to that of other similar jurisdictions, this increase in pedestrian fatalities continues to rise.”

In 2021 alone, six persons died as a direct consequence of traffic collisions in Pasadena, the report said. 

The Transportation Department said it has been using a multifaceted approach to address traffic safety throughout the City, including engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation – collectively referred to as “the five Es.”

“While this program has been effective at reducing collisions within the City by providing a comprehensive approach to traffic safety and identifying implementable solutions, pedestrian fatalities resulting from traffic collisions continue to increase,” Rubio-Cornejo’s report said. 

The report  added that shifting to the Safe System Approach is consistent with ensuring that Pasadena will be a city where people can circulate without cars, and will encourage people to walk, bike, and use other alternatives to motor vehicles. 

Aimed towards eliminating fatal and serious injuries for all road users, the Safe System Approach is built upon five core safe system principles: that death and serious injury are unacceptable, that humans make mistakes and that they’re vulnerable, that responsibility is shared, that safety is proactive, and that redundancy is crucial and all elements of the transportation system should be strengthened such that if one part fails, the other parts still protect people. 

“The implementation of a Safe System approach is achieved through five Safe System Elements: Safe Road Users, Safe Vehicles, Safe Speeds, Safe Roads, and Post-Crash Care,” the report said. 

Members of the community may access the Municipal Services Committee meeting through and

Public comments will be allowed during the public meeting but a speaker card must be submitted through prior to the start of the public comment period.

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