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Pasadena’s Transportation Department Details New Approach to Address Traffic Collisions, Pedestrian Fatalities

Published on Friday, June 24, 2022 | 5:33 am

At a city commission meeting Thursday, Department of Transportation officials provided details of their new approach to mitigate the increasing numbers of collisions and pedestrian fatalities in Pasadena.

Joaquin Siques, deputy director of the city’s DOT, described what is known as the “Safe System Approach.”

The multi-tiered plan is founded on engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation, Siques said.

He said the Department believes the program has actually reduced traffic collisions in Pasadena, but pedestrian fatalities continue to increase.

“The Safe System Approach aims to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users. It does so through a holistic view of the road system that first anticipates human mistakes and second, keeps impact energy on the human body at tolerable levels,” Siqaues said.

He said the approach is built on the following fundamental beliefs: Death/Serious Injury is Unacceptable, Humans Make Mistakes, Humans are Vulnerable, Responsibility is Shared, Safety is Proactive and Redundancy is Crucial.

The approach is anchored on these elements: Safe Road Users, Safe Vehicles, Safe Speeds, Safe Roads and Post-Crash Care.

Siques said implementing the “Safe System Approach” requires moving away from several traditional safety paradigms.

Rather than preventing crashes, the approach seeks to prevent death and serious injuries and rather than improving human behavior, the “Safe System Approach” is designed for human mistakes and limitations.

While the traditional approach focuses on controlling speeding, the new approach focuses on reducing system kinetic energy — and while the traditional system asserts that certain individuals are responsible for street accidents, the new approach aims to share responsibility among the system users, the managers and others.

Instead of reacting based on crash history, the new approach proactively identifies and addresses risks, said Siques.

“I was very pleased to read this report,” said Blair Miller of Complete Streets Coalition. “Initial review looks very promising and we are very much looking forward to supporting the city on its efforts in this.”

“I want to thank the commissioners and the department for taking on this approach that I personally think is very beneficial,” Pasadena resident David Chang said.“It does remind us that the problem of safe streets and complete streets has many solutions – all of which need to be worked together in tandem.”

The presentation was delivered an information item only and did not require an action from the commission.

Director of Transportation Laura Rubio-Cornejo said the DOT will come back to commission to present the same report in the future to inform upcoming new members of the commission and get feedback.

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3 thoughts on “Pasadena’s Transportation Department Details New Approach to Address Traffic Collisions, Pedestrian Fatalities

  • LMAO….. After 53 years as a professional in the transportation field, serving in numerous in safety sensitive positons, from running trains to planning for pedestrian safety, I’m confessing I was somewaht confused by the presentation. So, ket me get this right? We are moving from preventing accidents to preventing deaths and ijuries from accidents, right? But doesn’t preventing accidents prevent deaths and injuries from accidents? Doesn’t preventing accidents (especially preventing pedestrian and bike accidents) “proactively” help prevent those “resulting” deaths and injuries? This kind of “touchy-feely”traffic safety planning that ignores accident history to “proactively” intercedes was a really humorous part of the presentation, since we have such a lousy track record of even responding to the actual safety data and current accident history,and making appropriate and proven safety improvements.

  • I live around Arden rd and Oak Grove, a block from San Marino. There is a stop sign in this intersection and a pedestrian crossing. Few times due to street being dark, cars would pass without paying attention to the pedestrian. We need bright lines or flashing lights. Also on South lake a block from San Pasqual, we need flashing lights for pedestrians crossing.
    Glendale has flashing lights on main streets.

  • This article doesn’t explain anything! Laments terms please. What is DOT gonna do? Make the streets narrower? Adjust speed limits? WTF does “the new approach focuses on reducing system kinetic energy” even mean?!!!! This is just a bunch of words put together.

    Holistic approach? Are you kidding me?