Pedestrian Safety in California:

Five Years of Progress & Pitfalls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surface Transportation Policy Project

California Walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Summary.................................................................................................................. ..1

 

Cheers & Jeers.......................................................................................................... ..2

 

TABLE 1: Most Dangerous California Counties for Pedestrians........................... 12

 

TABLE 2: Most Dangerous California Cities for Pedestrians................................. 13

 

Analysis of 2001 Data............................................................................................. 15

 

TABLE 3: Pedestrian Incidents in California by Race & Ethnicity........................ 17

 

TABLE 4: Most Dangerous California Counties for Pedestrians:

Historical Rankings 1997-2001.............................................................................. 18

 

TABLE 5: Pedestrians as a Percentage of Overall Traffic Fatalities.................... 19

 

TABLE 6: Change in Commuters Walking to Work 1990-2000........................... 20

 

Methodology............................................................................................................. 21

 

Summary

 

In 1997, a group of civic activists in Los Angeles formed a group called “L..A.. Walks” – an apparent oxymoron for those more familiar with southern California’s freeways than its dense network of neighborhoods and bustling immigrant streetlife. The group’s founding members launched their efforts with a high -profile battle, -- contesting a controversial plan to remove crosswalks throughout the city and county of Los Angeles. Supporters of this policy, including local transportation agencies and many city and county traffic engineers, apparently didn’t believe that anyone walks in Los Angeles. But L.A. Walks’ members knew the opposite is true. These concerned citizens opposed the removal of crosswalks at public hearings and demonstrations, and their efforts gained extensive local and national media coverage, including a prominent article in The New York Times.

 

Although L.A. Walks’ opposition to the crosswalk removal policy was initially ignored by city and county transportation officials, the group’s efforts helped spark pedestrian safety movements around the state. Soon after, Santa Monica, a city filled with senior citizens and dependent on the wanderings of tourists, decided to suspend their its crosswalk removal plans and to focus instead on slowing traffic and enhancing pedestrian safety. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a pedestrian advocacy group called BayPeds released a report in 1999 that listed every intersection in the region in which pedestrians where had been killed by motor vehicles. Artists in San Francisco also brought attention to the problem by stenciling the outlines of bodies on streets where pedestrians had been killedwake. And business owners around Lake Tahoe repainted crosswalks on a local road after they had been removed by the transportation department. 

 

Pedestrian safety and advocacy groups now exist in most sizeable California communities, and elected officials have taken notice of their growing numbers. State legislators passed measures in 1999 and again in 2001 that set aside millions of federal transportation dollars for projects that enhance pedestrian safety. Using these funds, many communities have been able to implement Safe Routes to School projects that have improved safety for children walking and biking near schools.

 

In 2000, an arcane state law that prevents local governments from lowering speed limits on residential streets was made more flexible, and a measure (AB2522) that enhances the rights of pedestrians in California was signed into law. And in 2002, new legislation (SB1555) that would establish an unprecedented statewide pedestrian safety and education fund is working its way through the state capitol.

 

Just five years ago, no one would have predicted such a flurry of both public and political activity over the issue of walking and the safety of pedestrians. California has once again found itself at the forefront of a national movement, one that moves beyond simply advocating for more crosswalks and falls squarely in the middle of the fight for better neighborhoods, enhanced public safety, social justice, healthier and more active kids, and ultimately a stronger democracy where citizens care about the places they live and are given a chance to make them better.

 

This report represents the latest analysis of pedestrian injuries and fatalities for California’s largest cities and counties. In releasing this fourth annual analysis of pedestrian safety data for California, the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) is teaming up with one of the newest and most exciting efforts to improve conditions for pedestrians throughout the state: California Walks. We think it’s also time to take stock of the many many changes in the efforts that have helped build safer streets and more walkable communities. While there is still much work to be done in California, there is also reason to celebrate.

 

Here, then, is the news that deserves both “cheers” as well as “jeers” – the good news and the challenges that remain in making California’s cities, suburbs and rural communities some of the most walkable and pedestrian-friendly in the country.:

 

 

Cheers

 

The California Public: Citizens Demand Safer Streets for Walking. In the past five years, the number of individual organizations dedicated to walking and the promotion of pedestrian safety and rights in California has boomeda from zero to 14. This unprecedented growth in local civic groups represents nothing short of a mini rebellion – citizens tired of fighting speeding traffic, vanishing crosswalks and a dearth of funding to improve conditions for pedestrians. As these organizations have found, there’s strength in numbers, and their existence is the primary reason that so many of these changes have happened so quickly.

 

The most recent addition to the pedestrian advocacy movement in California could also be one of the most important: California Walks. Formed in June of 2002, this statewide organization designed to coordinate and strengthen local walk groups and give them a louder voice in the state capitol. For more information, contact Zac Wald (510-682-5605) at California Walks.

 

The California Legislature: Politicians Hear the Public. In the past five years, the legislature has approved four major pieces of legislation that have vastly improved conditions for pedestrians across the state, and state legislators are currently considering a fifth (SB1555). The Safe Routes to School bill, approved in both 1999 and 2001 (AB1475 and SB10),, sets aside $25 million a year in federal transportation funds to make it safer for California schoolchildren to walk and bike to school. The Pedestrian Safety Act of 2000 (AB2522) raised fines on motorists violating pedestrian rights of way, strengthened pedestrian rights and required new questions on drivers’ tests specifically covering pedestrian safety topics. Another bill approved in 2000 (AB2767CHECK THIS) added flexibility to an arcane state law (the so-called “85th percentile rule”) that prevents local governments from lowering speed limits on residential streets (see the “Jeers” section below for why thise law still encourages speeding). A bill (SB1555) that is currently pending in the legislature would establish a $3.25 million annual pedestrian and bicycle safety and education fund at the state level. For more information, contact James Corless (415-956-7795) or Kristi Kimball (415-956-7835) at the STPP’s California offices of the Surface Transportation Policy Project.

 

The Incredible Shrinking Street: Three lanes are Better than Four. All over the United States, and in towns throughout California, traffic engineers have proposed, and city councils have endorsed, the widening of streets to accommodate increased traffic. The two two-lane street is close to becoming an endangered species in many fast fast-growing communities. But street widenings and the move toward four- and six six-lane streets are more often than not a death knell for pedestrians.

 

Now, armed with new traffic engineering techniques and research that two two-lane streets can work just as efficiently as four four-lane streets, as long as a dedicated turn lane is provided, communities across the country are shrinking their streets, widening sidewalks and adding bicycle lanes. Examples of this change exist or are proposed in more than 20 California cities, including. Those include Sacramento (Auburn Boulevard); San Francisco (Valencia Street); Mountain View (Dana Street and Cuesta streets); Sunnyvale (Mary Avenue); Palo Alto (University Avenue &and East Meadow Drive); Santa Barbara; San Jose (proposed on 10th & 11th streets south of Santa Clara); Santa Cruz (Soquel Avenue – proposed); Willow Creek (Main Street); Oakland (Grand Avenue); and Santa Monica (Main Street).For more information, contact Dan Burden at Walkable Communities (Dburden@aol.com) or James Corless at Surface Transportation Policy ProjectSTPP (415-956-7795).

 

The California Department of Transportation: A Change in Thinking.  Prior to the late 1990s, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) was heavily criticized for not paying enough attention to the needs of local communities. But things have started to change within the ranks of the massive agency. The devotion of resources specifically targeted towards walkable communities and pedestrian safety, while still small in comparison to the scope of the problem, has started to make a difference. In addition to the $25 million per year devoted to the Safe Routes to School program for local construction projects, Caltrans is pursuing a pedestrian travel and behavior survey, a bicycle and pedestrian education campaign and several lines of research towards the goal of safer and more pedestrian-friendly streets. Caltrans has also started a new Office of Community Planning and distributed planning grants for local cities and towns to help them promote livable neighborhoods and traffic safety measures. Caltrans has also unveiled a new “Context Sensitive Solutions” policy, an effort to replace their rigid one-size-fits-all engineering standards with more flexible roadway design guidelines that many hope will allow greater flexibility to incorporate the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, local businesses and other important local stakeholders. For more information, contact Ken Baxter at the Caltrans Office of Community Planning (916-654-2719).

 

City of Oakland: A Citywide Pedestrian Safety Effort. Once one of the most dangerous cities in the state for pedestrians, Oakland now has a nationally acclaimed pedestrian safety project. Hailed as a model program by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the pedestrian project’s success can be found in its focus on community education, street improvements and the broad support it receives from residents and city officials.

 

Project staff regularly conduct outreach to schoolchildren, parents, seniors and neighborhood groups. Using tools such as the Safe Moves Town in schools and community centers, Oakland residents are taught about traffic hazards and safe pedestrian practices. Street improvements have included installing speed humps and the liberal use of stop signs. One study of Oakland’s traffic safety conducted by U.C. Berkeley researchers found that a child living within one block of a speed hump was half as likely to get hit by a car as a child living on a street without one.

 

Also noteworthy is the recent introduction of a pedestrian master plan for the City. Project staff developed this plan to serve as a blueprint for safety pedestrian practices and an index of priorities. If approved, it will be one of the state’s first comprehensive programs specifically created for pedestrians. For more information, contact Tom Van DeMark at the City of Oakland (510-238-7049).

 

City of San Jose: Conversion of One-Way Streets. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the number of people commuting from suburbs to jobs in older urban centers grew rapidly. To accommodate the rising vehicle traffic in neighborhoods surrounding city centers, planners pursued networks of one one-way streets to increase traffic capacity and speeds. Yet at the turn of the twenty-first 21st century, communities across the country are increasingly turning one one-way streets back into two two-way streets, realizing that pedestrians, nearby homeowners and adjacent business owners all benefit from the traditional two-way street design.

 

Convinced that neighborhood livability and downtown business development should take precedence over traffic speeds (a majority of which was found to be cutting through the city without stopping downtown or anywhere else), the San Jose City Council voted in June 2001 to convert 10 major one one-way thoroughfares back into two two-way streets. Many other streets are slated for additional enhancements to protect pedestrians and promote walking and bicycling, and the city’s “traffic calming” fund was increased from $300,000 to $5 million in the last couple of years. For more information, contact Russell Westbrook at Walk San Jose (russ@walksanjose.org, or 408-295-4715) or Harry Freitas with the City of San Jose (408-277-4217).

 

City of Pasadena: A Quiet Revolution. In 1994, the City of Pasadena adopted a general plan that provides holds as one of its seven guiding principles that "Pasadena Shall be a Place Where People Can Circulate Without Cars." Since then the city has undergone a quiet renaissance, and has recently increased its pedestrian-friendly efforts. Bucking national and statewide trends, Pasadena has not removed mid-block crosswalks, but has instead enhanced them. – iIn one case, installing an experimental crosswalk with embedded flashing lights in the pavement was installed, as were, and installing all-way pedestrian scrambles in the revitalized Old Pasadena neighborhood. Two years ago an enclosed auto-oriented shopping mall fell to wrecking balls and was resurrected last fall as a pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development not far from a future light-rail train station.

 

Pasadena is also planning or considering adding pedestrian-oriented transit zones, parking maximums (rather than minimums) for certain developments near train stations, requirements for pedestrian- oriented development within transit zones and elsewhere, an increase in the local free shuttle bus from two lines to nine, ordinances to increase sidewalk widths and development design guidelines to encourage pedestrian and bicycle mobility. In addition, the Metro Gold Line light rail train service (with six stations in as many miles in Pasadena) will open for business in less than a year by late 2002 or early 2003 and heralds a new era of pedestrian -oriented opportunities. For more information, contact Roger Gray at Pasadena Walks! (626.-399.-4729).

 

City, County & Region of San Diego: Reversing an Anti-Pedestrian Reputation. Three different and distinct levels of government in San Diego are all doing their part to improve the pedestrian environment. The City of San Diego is moving forward on its update of the city’s general plan, a document that will play a key role in guiding future growth, development and infrastructure for decades to come. The City has dubbed its plan the “City of Villages” and is undertaking an ambitious effort to strengthen existing neighborhoods, a primary focus of which will be creating more walkable communities. The City has recently released a new street design manual that narrows travel lane widths, tightens corner radii and reduces so-called “design speeds” for streets through the city.

 

The County of San Diego is one of California’s leading examples of how geographic information systems (GIS) pedestrian injury mapping can provide a comprehensive look at where traffic fatalities and injuries are happening. County staff will be using the this information as baseline data to measures impacts of municipal pedestrian safety and traffic-calming programs. The report is also seen as an enabling tool for community groups to identify problems in their areas and take action. Neighborhood organizations have used the data to persuade elected officials to include or increase pedestrian safety elements in proposed developments. Others have included it in grant applications to teach schoolchildren about injury prevention. San Diego County’s injury mapping report can be viewed at http://www.sdsafecommunities.com/Images/SafeCity2000Plus.pdf.

 

Finally, the regional transportation agency in the area, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG),, recently took a significant steptowards by adopting “Planning and Designing for Pedestrians: Model Guidelines for the San Diego Region.” The guidelines are the first document in the United States to recommend pedestrian design approaches for an entire region. Topics include street standards, walkways, disabled access, traffic calming, parking placement and designing private developments to encourage walking. SANDAG staff will present the guidelines to each city council in its region and encourage their adoption into local ordinances and standards. For more information, contact Walk San Diego (858-650-4671 or mail@walksandiego.org) or SANDAG (619-595-5324 or sva@sandag.org). San Diego County’s injury mapping report can be viewed at http://www.sdsafecommunities.com/Images/SafeCity2000Plus.pdf.

 

Marin County: Getting Kids Back on Their Feet. In the fall of 2000, Marin County launched an aggressive program to get more children to walk and bike to school more often in the fall of 2000. Initially, surveys showed that 21 percent of kids at its nine pilot schools walked or biked to school. The county’s strategies included After two years of an intensive “Safe Routes to School” program combining the addition of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, with student incentives (such as a Frequent Rider Miles contest), a public media campaign and a massive outreach and education effort., surveys indicated that 38 percent of kids in participating schools now walk or bike to school.  The Town of Mill Valley adjusted a traffic signal where a bike path and sidewalk feed into an elementary school to give children more time to cross. The Town of Fairfax built a new bike path and recently committed to extending a sidewalk network to the west side of town.

 

Before the campaign, surveys showed that 21 percent of kids at its nine pilot schools walked or biked to school. Two years after the county program started, surveys indicate that 38 percent of kids who attend participating schools now walk or bike to school. A

s a result of the campaign, the number of children who get to school by car dropped significantly, falling from well over half of all home to school trips in 2000 to 38 percent in 2002. The broad-based effort has won financial support from a wide variety of sources, including the California Department of Health Services and the U.S. Department of Transportation. For more information, contact the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC): Debbie Hubsmith (415-456-3469 or debbie@marinbike.org) or Wendi Kallins (415-488-4101 or wendi@marinbike.org).

 

City of Sacramento: Slowing Residential Traffic and Shrinking Streets. Sacramento’s mid-town traffic calming program was one of the most ambitious efforts in the country when it was launched as a pilot project in 1997. The initiative to shrink residential streets, install mini-roundabouts, reduce cut-through traffic and generally reduce the speed of vehicles has so far been a success, and it has won approval from the city council to become a permanent part of the Public Works Department’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP). In June of 2002, Sacramento also decided to narrow its standard travel lane width from 11 feet to 10 feet, a move to reduce traffic speeds and increase livability and space for other streets users like bicyclists and pedestrians. The initiative also calls for marked crosswalks at all intersections, a new policy on mini -traffic roundabouts, and countdown pedestrian signals and at high- volume intersections. For more information, contact Anne Geraghty at Sacramento Walks (916-444-5864) or Mike Kashigawa, Director of Public Works with the City of Sacramento (916-264-7100).

 

City of Santa Ana and U.C. Irvine: Reaching Out to Diverse Communities. There is no one culprit when it comes to motor vehicle collisions, which is why it is important to involve multiple, diverse groups in pedestrian safety programs. U.C. Irvine’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative in the City of Santa Ana targeted its this city’s residents, of which two-thirds are Latino and nearly one-tenth are Asian. The initiative was developed in partnership with city agencies, schools and community organizations, and it also convened a 25-member task force that included ethnic-based groups, the medical community, automobile clubs and elected officials.

 

The program focused on developing culturally and linguistically appropriate tools and materials that could eventually be used throughout the state. Project staff, community organizations and city agencies worked together to develop a “Pedestrian Safety Toolkit” that included an assessment tool, solution guidebook, educational video with guide and public information materials written in both Spanish and English. Program activities continue today as the City of Santa Ana assumed ownership of the project and obtained a grant to implement them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) featured the project as a successful school transportation safety program in its 2001-2002 “Getting to School Safely” kit. For more information, contact Dianne Winn at UC Irvine (949-824-7410 or dgwinn@uci.edu).

 

City of Carlsbad: Requiring Pedestrian-Friendly Street Designs. In 2001, the City of Carlsbad, located in northern San Diego County, adopted “Livable Streets Standards” to reduce speeding in new neighborhoods. The standards reduce neighborhood street widths from 40 feet to 34 feet, and require traffic calming in all new developments. Since most of the city is built out, and many residential streets are wide and dangerous, the program also included a new Residential Traffic Management Program (RTMP). Through the RTMP, residents may request traffic calming treatments on problem streets. In creating the program, the Carlsbad city council also established an annual budget for traffic calming treatments.

 

In July 2002, the city council approved a new development called Bressi Ranch.. The 623-home development is the first to be approved following adoption of the Livable Streets Standards. Consistent with the new standards, Bressi Ranch features narrower streets, traffic calming devices, a modified grid street pattern and sidewalks separated from the curb by a planting strips. Speeding traffic will be all but impossible thanks to the inclusion of four traffic circles and corner “bulb-outs” at most intersections. The development includes 2two million square feet of light industry/offices, a commercial center, 200 assisted living units, apartments, homes and estate homes. Parks are scattered throughout the development, which is surrounded by permanently protected habitat areas and walking paths. For more information, contact Walk San Diego (858-650-4671 or mail@walksandiego.org).

 

Los Angeles County: A Transit Agency Plans for Pedestrians. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) organized a section within its planning department to focus on pedestrian safety and its linkages to transportation. The planning team drafted a chapter for the 2001 Long Range Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County that focuses on Ppedestrian needs, and it conducted technical analysis to support and document the ways in which and very important walking as element of contributes to the quality of urban life. The MTA also conducted three pedestrian symposia to gather input from local cities and community stakeholders to better determine pedestrian needs in transportation and to discuss the incorporation of pedestrian needs into local cities planning efforts. The MTA has also increased funding for pedestrian projects from $2 million per year in 1993 to $10 million per year in 2001. For more information, contact James Rojas at the MTA (213-629-9122,  or 213-922-2451).

 

City of San Francisco: Marketing Safety Through the Media. One of the most prestigious San Francisco advertising firms jumped into the pedestrian safety fray in 1999 with a series of shocking ads that caught the attention of both city residents and the national media. One of the ads was tagged, “I’m sorry I ran over your grandma, but I didn’t want to spill my latte,” and featured an elderly woman glancing over her shoulder at an approaching car. Another ad showed a child running in front of a car speeding in a residential area and read, “Steel is stronger than flesh: Slow it down.”

 

These campaign messages by ad agency Goody Silverstein & Partners was were probably the most visible and talked about component of a citywide education and outreach campaign on aggressive driving and pedestrian safety. These activities were initiated by a city supervisor’s concern about the high numbers of pedestrian injuries in San Francisco. According to the National HighwaNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), San Francisco has the highest number of pedestrian fatalities per capita in California and the third-highest number of pedestrian fatalities per capita in the nation.

 

City of Salinas: A Grassroots Effort for Safer Streets. This rural town’s traffic and pedestrian safety activities grew out of the activities of a coalition of community groups and city departments. Dubbed Mano a Mano, or Hand to Hand, the coalition began with the partnership between the local Sun Street Centers and the Monterey County Health Department. A previous working relationship led the two groups to apply and win a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Money from this grant was used to support Walk to School Day, pedestrian education activities, and run sobriety checks and child car seat safety checks in conjunction with the local police department. These efforts garnered the support of city officials and residents, some of whom provided donations to expand the program.

 

City of Alameda: Officials Heed Pleas From Pedestrian Advocates. When a resident of Alameda witnessed a horrific pedestrian fatality, they contacted a member of the City Council and demanded actionthey . The result was a redesign of the problem intersection, converting making it into a four-way stop and adding pedestrian refuge islands. Momentum grew, and after a Ttown Hhall Mmeeting was held to explore the possibilities to improve the conditions for pedestrians citywide, citizens formed Pedestrian-Friendly Alameda (PFA). In the past year and a half, PFA has succeeded in blocking the planned removal of a crosswalk, convinced public works officials to repaint and add crosswalks at dangerous intersections, helped develop encouraged the implementation of the local Police Department's Selective Traffic Enforcement and Education Program (STEEP), won support for new pedestrian countdown clocks and assisted the city in preparing a Safe Routes to School grant.

 

 

PFA brought "Walk a Child to School Day" to Alameda for the first time in 2001, involving four elementary schools at that time. In 2002, partnering with Parent-teacher associations (PTAs), we joined soon after, and 12 elementary schools are now involved. PFA, in partnership with the PTA Council, introduced the "Keep Kids Alive - Drive 25" awareness program to Alameda. Activities of Tthe Police Department's STEEP Program resulted in a 39%  percent decrease in automobile-pedestrian accidents and a 152%  percent increase in issued citations for pedestrian right -of- way violations. The local newspaper ran two full full-page ads supported by local businesses, that read, "The speed limit in Alameda is 25.". PFA is a member of the Alameda Transportation Coalition, - three transportation-related advocacy groups that have come together to bring an even stronger voice to pedestrian and bicycle safety and to transportation issues. For more information, contact PFA at 510-522-4651 or www.pedfriendly.org.

 

City of Santa Cruz: Reappearing Crosswalks. When crosswalks along Highway One (also known as Mission Street), the main north-south thoroughfare through Santa Cruz, started to fade, the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) refused to restripe any crossings in the middle of blocks or at unsignaled intersections (see “Jeers” section below). Yet lLocal residents became upset and a petition to restripe the crosswalks was circulated that attracted over 700 signatures. Signors represented a broad cross-section of the community, including business owners, PTAs, associations and local safety and civic groups. The overwhelming response from local residents helped form a new pedestrian advocacy group for the area, “Mission: Pedestrian.” Caltrans took the local outcry for a safer streets to heart, and starting repainting them in 2001. Several tragic fatalities have recently occurred on the street, but thankfully Caltrans responded by is now pursuing a policy to make the pedestrian crossings even more visible by adding overhead flashing lights and putting in more prominent ladder markings as part of the crosswalks. For more information, contact Debbie Bulger at Mission: Pedestrian (dfulger@cruzio.com).

 

 

Jeers

 

Removing Crosswalks: Less Isn’t More. California has an unfortunate reputation for being one of the states to lead a national traffic engineering movement by advocating for the removal of crosswalks in the middle of blocks and at intersections without traffic lights or stop signs. Several California studies in the 1970s concluded that pedestrians were more likely to be hit by cars when crossing in a crosswalk without a light or stop sign to slow traffic. While one response to this problem might have been to increase the visibility and traffic controls associated with crosswalks, traffic planners unfortunately decided to begin removing them instead. AB2522, the Pedestrian Safety Act of 2000, now requires that local jurisdictions at the very least give residents 30 days notice and the option of a public hearing when removing a mid-block crosswalk. But some cities and counties in California are still removing crosswalks at an alarming pace. And many more are afraid to install new mid-block crosswalks due to liability concerns – even though well-protected and highly visible mid-block crossings are critical in more suburban communities with longer blocks and technically safer than crossing at intersections due to the lack of vehicle turning movements.

 

Segways on Sidewalks: Watch Your Back. As if dodging fast moving speeding vehicles while crossing the street isn’t bad enough, now the Segway – the fast- moving electric “vehicle” that may indeed revolutionize short-distance transportation as its founder claims – is poised to invade sidewalks in legislation either pending or approved in 20 states across the country. The California legislature is considering its own version of this policy (SB1918) to define the Segway vehicle as a “pedestrian.” The good news is that local governments in the California version of the bill have the option to ban Segways from sidewalks if they want. The bad news is that Segways are defined as pedestrians at all. The bill would prohibit Segways from traveling in bike lanes or in the street on slower residential roads.

 

The truth is that Segways aren’t pedestrians;, they’re a new form of vehicle. They should be welcomed into the traffic flow and protected from faster moving traffic where necessary. Riding them on sidewalks in a few sparsely populated areas maybe OK. But restricting them only to sidewalks and defining them as “pedestrians” isn’t. For more information on safety issues related to the Segway scooter, visit http://www.injurycenter.org/segway/ segway.cfm.

 

Pedestrian Barricades: Inconvenient, Inconsiderate and Downright Dangerous. Another familiar sign that you’re in a California city are pedestrian barricades: the “No Pedestrian Crossing” signs that require people to go out of their way to cross an intersection three times when once would have been enough. These are another unfortunate holdover from the days when traffic engineers defined pedestrians as “traffic flow interruptions” in street design manuals. They favor unimpeded traffic turning movements over the ability of pedestrians to cross the street, reasoning that pedestrians in a crosswalk will hold up the flow of traffic. But the result is that many pedestrians are thus forced to cross three legs of an intersection rather than one, tripling both the number of potential conflicts with a vehicle as well as and the actual distance that a pedestrian has to walk.

 

New all-red pedestrian “scrambles” at some intersections in California can provide one way to get around this. An all-red phase of the traffic signals for motorists provides pedestrians with an “all-walk” phase during which pedestrian can actually cross the intersection diagonally. This treatment, and similar ideas, and complementary technologies ought to be enough to ban the “No Pedestrian Crossing” signs in California for good.

 

The Invisible Majority: Undercounting California’s 35 million Pedestrians. Transportation planners live and breathe by traffic data: who drives where, why and for how long. Millions of dollars are spent on counting everything from left turn movements to the roughness of the road, except when it comes to walking. The only reliable statistics for walking are generally produced by a handful of regional transportation agencies and the U.S. cCensus Bureau, and those only count the number of people over 16 years old who walk to work. Several other studies that have counted walking as a mode of transportation have found that pedestrian journeys account for between 8 eight and 10 percent of all trips in California. In reality, there are probably many more walking trips that would show up if all ages and demographics were surveyed properly and consistently. The California Department of Transportation and regional transportation planning agencies should conduct annual travel surveys that vastly improve the methodology for measuring how much Californians walk and bike.

 

Disappearing Dollars: Failing to Put Our Money Where our Mouth is. Transportation agencies in general have failed to spend any money on pedestrian safety, often citing the issue as a local problem or city concern and not a legitimate transportation issue. Unfortunately, California spends even less on pedestrian safety than most other states – less than one percent of all federal transportation funds from 1997-98 were spent to protect pedestrians and encourage walking.

 

Several notable exceptions to this trend in California have emerged in the last five years and should be copied. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments recently approved its 23-year long range transportation plan with $529 million allocated for bicycle and pedestrian safety measures in addition to $500 million for projects that improve neighborhood livability and promote walkable communities. A similar program in the San Francisco Bay Area developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission allocated $27 million a year to enhance communities partly through pedestrian amenities. Smaller but similar programs have been advanced in Monterey and San Diego counties. The state Department of Transportation, Rregional Ttransportation Aagencies, and even local transportation sales tax measures should all contain earmark at least 10 percent of their funding for measures that contribute to more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets.

 

The 85th Percentile Rule: A License to Speed. Speed is one of the most critical factors in both the severity of pedestrian-vehicle collisions as well as the overall comfort and appeal of the walking environment. Anyone can tell you that walking along a six -lane arterial where the average speed is 50 mph isn’t a pleasant experience. And pedestrians hit by a car traveling 40 mph have only a 5five percent chance of survival, while being hit at 20 mph gives you an 85 percent chance of living.

 

Unfortunately, California’s speeding law actually encourages speeding due to an arcane policy known as the “85th percentile rule.” Speed limits on local streets cannot legally be set below the the speed of the 85th fastest car out of every 100. If a speed study of a street shows that people are routinely driving faster than the speed limit, local officials actually have to raise the speed limit. While the law was amended to allow some consideration for pedestrians, bicyclists and residential density, these amendments don’t go far enough. The 85th percentile rule for speeding has turned local streets into speedways throughout California and allowed reckless drivers to set the rules of the road. The time has come to vastly overhaul this law or do away with it altogether.

 

For Whom the Bridge Tolls: Charging Pedestrians on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beloved and recognizable symbols of California. Yet financial troubles at the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transit District have forced the agency to suggest charging a toll to walk or bike across the famous bridgelandmark. If California wants to promote walking and bicycling as well as tourism, it will continue to allow people to walk or ride their bicycles across the Golden Gate Bridge free of charge.

 

Turning Our Back on the Problem: The California Racial Privacy Initiative. One of the most significant demographic changes in the last five years has been the racial and ethnic shift within the population. People of color now account for a majority of Californians, and California is now one of the most racially and ethnically diverse states in the country. As previous research conducted by STPP and the Latino Issues Forum has shown, Latinos and African-Americans account for a disproportionate share of pedestrian injuries and fatalities relative to their share of the population. One of the reasons for this is a correlation with income levels (individuals from lower income neighborhoods both tend to both walk more and to be exposed to faster, more dangerous streets). Another significant factor in this equation is immigration. Understanding both ethnic and cultural backgrounds are critical in terms of providing outreach and education to target populations, particularly in native languages other than English.

 

California desperately needs to collect more data on the causes of pedestrian fatalities and injuries in order to do a better job preventing them. Yet a ballot measure proposed by the American Civil Rights Coalition for the 2004 California primary would ban local and state agencies within California from collecting any data about Rrace. While some exceptions are granted in the initiative, vehicle and pedestrian collisions are not one of them.

 

 


 

 

TABLE 1: MOST DANGEROUS CALIFORNIA COUNTIES FOR PEDESTRIANS 2001

Counties with populations above 100,000

2001 RANK

County

Pedestrian

Fatalities

 2001 (1)

Pedestrian

Injuries

 2001 (1)

Population

2001 (2)

Pedestrian

Incident

Rate

2001

Pedestrian

 Exposure

Index (3)

Pedestrian

Danger

 Index

2001

1

SOLANO

6

139

405,800

35.7

1.6

100

2

SACRAMENTO

30

551

1,279,900

45.4

2.1

96.8

3

LOS ANGELES

233

5,685

9,824,800

60.2

2.9

93.0

4

CONTRA COSTA

14

289

981,600

30.9

1.5

92.2

5

SAN JOAQUIN

17

248

596,000

44.5

2.3

86.6

6

SAN MATEO

6

280

717,000

39.9

2.1

85.1

7

SANTA CLARA

22

563

1,719,600

34.0

1.8

84.6

8

STANISLAUS

14

184

469,500

42.2

2.4

78.7

9

KERN

16

210

687,600

32.9

1.9

77.5

10

ALAMEDA

24

775

1,486,600

53.7

3.2

75.2

11

ORANGE

54

892

2,939,500

32.2

2.0

72.1

12

VENTURA

13

240

780,100

32.4

2.1

69.2

13

MERCED

11

72

218,900

37.9

3.0

56.6

14

SAN FRANCISCO

20

922

793,600

118.7

9.4

56.5

15

RIVERSIDE

35

358

1,644,300

23.9

1.9

56.3

16

SAN BERNARDINO

52

480

1,783,700

29.8

2.4

55.6

17

MARIN

4

86

249,900

36.0

3.0

53.8

18

MADERA

5

32

129,700

28.5

2.4

53.2

19

SAN DIEGO

66

1,106

2,918,300

40.2

3.4

52.9

20

SHASTA

2

40

169,200

24.8

2.2

50.5

21

FRESNO

18

204

826,600

26.9

2.4

50.1

22

TULARE

8

98

379,200

28.0

2.5

50.1

23

PLACER

5

42

264,900

17.7

1.7

46.7

24

SONOMA

6

142

471,000

31.4

3.1

45.4

25

SANTA BARBARA

6

153

407,900

39.0

4.0

43.6

26

BUTTE

2

61

207,000

30.4

3.4

40.1

27

SANTA CRUZ

3

97

260,200

38.4

4.4

39.1

28

YOLO

1

56

176,300

32.3

3.8

38.1

29

EL DORADO

2

28

163,600

18.3

2.2

37.3

30

IMPERIAL

1

45

150,800

30.5

3.7

36.9

31

NAPA

2

38

128,000

31.3

4.1

34.1

32

KINGS

3

30

133,100

24.8

3.3

33.6

33

HUMBOLDT

3

56

127,700

46.2

6.5

31.8

34

MONTEREY

3

105

409,600

26.4

3.8

31.1

35

SAN LUIS OBISPO

2

34

253,600

14.2

3.7

17.2

 

CALIFORNIA

721

14,545

35,037,000

43.6

2.9

67.3

 

 

 (1) 2001 Provisional numbers from the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System

(2) State of California, Department of Finance, E-1 City/County Population Estimates. Sacramento, California, May 2002

     (www.dof.ca.gov/HTML/DEMOGRAP/E-1table.xls)

(3) 2000 Census; Journey to Work Statistics

See Methodology for more information on how Pedestrian Danger Index is calculated

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

TABLE 2: MOST DANGEROUS CALIFORNIA CITIES FOR PEDESTRIANS -- 2001

All California Cities Above 100,000 population as of 1/1/2002

 

 

2001

Rank

**

City (County)

Pedestrian

Fatalities

 2001 (1)

Pedestrian

Injuries

 2001 (1)

Population

2001 (2)

Pedestrian

Incident

Rate

2001

Pedestrian

 Exposure

Index (3)

Pedestrian

Danger

 Index

2001*

1

Vallejo (Solano)

3

60

118,600

53.1

1.2

100

2

Inglewood (Los Angeles)

1

85

115,100

74.7

2.0

84.4

3

Oxnard (Ventura)

2

101

182,000

56.6

1.6

79.9

4

Oceanside (San Diego)

3

66

167,200

41.3

1.3

71.7

5

Modesto (Stanislaus)

4

98

198,600

51.4

1.7

68.2

6

San Jose (Santa Clara)

14

370

918,000

41.8

1.4

67.5

7

Richmond (Contra Costa)

3

54

101,100

56.4

1.9

67.0

8

Moreno Valley (Riverside)

5

25

146,400

20.5

0.7

66.1

9

Stockton (San Joaquin)

5

158

253,800

64.2

2.2

65.9

10

Long Beach (Los Angeles)

11

322

473,100

70.4

2.5

63.6

11

Fremont (Alameda)

3

60

208,600

30.2

1.1

62.0

12

Downey (Los Angeles)

4

35

110,400

35.3

1.3

61.4

13

Fontana (San Bernardino)

5

40

139,100

32.4

1.2

60.9

14

Lancaster (Los Angeles)

2

51

123,100

43.1

1.6

60.8

15

Bakersfield (Kern)

5

80

257,900

33.0

1.3

57.3

16

Pomona (Los Angeles)

7

71

153,900

50.7

2.0

57.2

17

Norwalk (Los Angeles)

0

62

106,700

58.1

2.3

57.1

18

Daly City (San Mateo)

0

34

104,400

32.6

1.3

56.6

19

Santa Ana (Orange)

2

183

343,700

53.8

2.2

55.3

20

Chula Vista (San Diego)

3

67

190,900

36.7

1.5

55.2

21

Torrance (Los Angeles)

0

45

142,100

31.7

1.3

55.0

22

Garden Grove (Orange)

5

55

168,600

35.6

1.5

53.6

23

Sacramento (Sacramento)

12

269

426,000

66.0

2.8

53.2

24

West Covina (Los Angeles)

1

27

109,100

25.7

1.1

52.7

25

Hayward (Alameda)

1

69

144,300

48.5

2.1

52.2

26

Fairfield (Solano)

0

39

100,200

38.9

1.7

51.7

27

Ontario (San Bernardino)

5

50

162,300

33.9

1.5

51.0

28

Los Angeles (Los Angeles)

116

2,935

3,807,400

80.1

3.6

50.3

29

Oakland (Alameda)

13

321

408,800

81.7

3.7

49.9

30

Huntington Beach (Orange)

8

55

194,600

32.4

1.5

48.8

31

Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino)

4

25

137,100

21.2

1.0

47.8

32

Palmdale (Los Angeles)

2

24

123,700

21.0

1.0

47.5

33

Glendale (Los Angeles)

3

129

200,200

65.9

3.2

46.5

34

Santa Clarita (Los Angeles)

2

38

158,300

25.3

1.3

43.9

35

Escondido (San Diego)

4

49

137,000

38.7

2.0

43.7

36

Burbank (Los Angeles)

2

50

102,800

50.6

2.7

42.3

37

Costa Mesa (Orange)

4

45

110,700

44.3

2.4

41.7

38

Salinas (Monterey)

1

56

148,400

38.4

2.1

41.3

39

Simi Valley (Ventura)

2

19

115,500

18.2

1.0

41.1

40

Fresno (Fresno)

10

158

441,900

38.0

2.1

40.9

41

Anaheim (Orange)

5

129

334,700

40.0

2.3

39.3

42

Santa Rosa (Sonoma)

3

54

152,900

37.3

2.2

38.3

43

Ventura (Ventura)

2

42

102,300

43.0

2.6

37.4

44

Concord (Contra Costa)

3

31

123,900

27.4

1.7

36.5

 

TABLE 2: MOST DANGEROUS CALIFORNIA CITIES FOR PEDESTRIANS -- 2001

All California Cities Above 100,000 population as of 1/1/2002 (CONTINUED)

 

2001

Rank

**

City (County)

Pedestrian

Fatalities

 2001 (1)

Pedestrian

Injuries

 2001 (1)

Population

2001 (2)

Pedestrian

Incident

Rate

2001

Pedestrian

 Exposure

Index (3)

Pedestrian

Danger

 Index

2001*

45

Sunnyvale (Santa Clara)

2

30

132,800

24.1

1.5

36.3

46

San Bernardino

9

70

189,800

41.6

2.6

36.2

47

El Monte (Los Angeles)

1

80

119,500

67.8

4.3

35.6

48

San Diego (San Diego)

23

627

1,255,700

51.8

3.6

32.5

49

Corona (Riverside)

2

27

134,000

21.6

1.6

30.6

50

Fullerton (Orange)

4

50

129,300

41.8

3.2

29.5

51

San Francisco

20

922

793,600

118.7

9.4

28.5

52

Riverside (Riverside)

3

95

269,400

36.4

3.0

27.4

53

Pasadena (Los Angeles)

2

83

138,800

61.2

5.3

26.1

54

Orange (Orange)

4

37

132,900

30.9

2.9

24.0

55

Thousand Oaks (Ventura)

2

23

121,000

20.7

2.1

22.2

56

Santa Clara (Santa Clara)

1

25

104,300

24.9

3.2

17.6

57

Berkeley (Alameda)

1

106

104,600

102.3

14.9

15.5

58

Irvine (Orange)

1

23

157,500

15.2

4.8

7.2

 

 

* The California Pedestrian Danger Index is scaled based on the highest ranking city. Thus, this index is not comparable to the county pedestrian danger index in Table 1.

 

** Rankings based on 2000 Census Journey to Work

 

(1) 2001 Provisional numbers from the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System

(2) State of California, Department of Finance, E-1 City/County Population Estimates. Sacramento, California, May 2002

     (www.dof.ca.gov/HTML/DEMOGRAP/E-1table.xls)

(3) 2000 Census; Journey to Work Statistics

 

 

 

 


 

2001 Data Analysis: Statewide Trends

 

A sizeable number of traffic-related deaths and injuries every year are not drivers and passengers but pedestrians, the most prevalent and yet the most vulnerable users of our transportation network.  In 2001, for example, pedestrians accounted for more than 18 percent of all traffic-related fatalities, and nearly five percent of all traffic-related injuries, in California. 

 

From 2000 to 2001, pedestrian deaths in California increased by 5 percent – from 689 fatalities to 721 – one of the first significant increases in overall pedestrian fatalities in California for several years.  Pedestrian injuries also increased from 14,506 to 14,545 over the same period.  Because of current trends in land use and transportation policy, including rapid suburbanization, the widening of streets and intersections, and the removal of crosswalks – pedestrians are facing increasingly hostile physical environments.  At the same time changing demographics are causing children, seniors, immigrants and people without drivers licenses to depend on navigating streets as pedestrians.  

 

The most recent statewide hospitalization records show that Latinos and African-Americans are most at risk from pedestrian-vehicle collisions.  In 1999-2000, Latinos comprised 30 percent of the California population but accounted for nearly 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities and hospitalized injuries. Similarly, African-Americans comprised seven percent of the population but accounted for almost 12 percent of the pedestrian fatalities and hospitalized injuries in the same year.  In comparison, Caucasians made up 51 percent of the population but only 39 percent of pedestrian fatalities and hospitalized injuries. (See Table 3)

 

Newly available data also shows that fewer Californians are walking to work.  According to the latest U.S. Census data, the percentage of people who walk to work dropped between 1990 and 2000 in all but two counties in California.  Overall, 2.9 percent of the state’s commuters walked to work in 2000 as compared to 3.4 percent in 1990 – a 15 percent drop.  (See Table 6)

 

Most Dangerous Counties for Pedestrians

 

Rapidly growing regions of the Central Valley now rank among the most dangerous places in California for pedestrians, along with sprawling communities in Southern California and the Silicon Valley.  Pedestrian injury and fatality statistics show that San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County and Kern County ranked among the 10 most hazardous counties for pedestrians in 2001, based on the number of injuries and deaths per capita and the levels of pedestrian activity in these counties. (See Table 1)

 

Topping the list of hazardous counties in 2001 was Solano County, a mix of farmfields and fast-growing communities that borders the Central Valley. Like San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Kern counties, Solano County has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, largely due to its relatively affordable housing and its proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

As in many newly developed parts of California, the expanding communities of Solano County and the Central Valley are characterized by scattered low-density development, “big box” shopping centers and wide, high-speed streets that make walking difficult and dangerous.

 

Rounding out the top 10 most dangerous counties for 2001 are Sacramento County, Los Angeles County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and Alameda County. The Southern California counties of Orange and Ventura ranked 11th and 12th, followed by Merced, San Francisco and Riverside counties.

 

There appears to be a relationship between population increases and a rise in per-capita traffic-related pedestrian injuries and deaths. Riverside County, which has experienced the second-fastest population growth in the state on a percentage basis since 1998 according to the state Department of Finance, ranked as the 15th most dangerous county for pedestrians in 2001, up from 21st in 1998.  Similarly, San Joaquin County, the third fastest growing county since 1998, has jumped from 14th to fifth most hazardous county. 

 

Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

 

The rankings of the state’s most dangerous cities for pedestrians are consistent with the county rankings.  Many of the most dangerous cities are suburban or edge cities, some fast growing, in the Central Valley, Los Angeles and the fringes of the Silicon Valley (See Table 2; this analysis includes only cities with populations of 100,000 or greater). 

 

The city of Vallejo, which tops the ranks of dangerous cities for pedestrians in 2001, is located in the state’s most dangerous county – Solano County. In fact eight of the ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians are located within counties that also ranked in the top ten for pedestrian danger. 

 

After Vallejo, the top five most dangerous cities for pedestrians include Ingleside, Oxnard, Oceanside and Modesto.  The cities of San Jose and Richmond also scored high on the danger index, ranking 6th and 7th.

 

Similar to counties, the most dangerous cities for pedestrians are often the fastest growing cities.  The city of Oceanside grew 25.4 percent between 1990 and 2000.  Oxnard and Moreno Valley grew 20 percent over the same period, and Modesto, San Jose and Stockton were close behind with growth rates of 14 and 15 percent.  

 

The city rankings also suggest a relationship between pedestrian danger and race and ethnicity.  The ten most dangerous cities all have high non-white populations -- at least 64 percent non-white or greater.  In comparison, the least dangerous cities (ranked 50-58) have lower non-white populations – ranging from 22 percent to 60 percent.

 

What trends are behind the increase in pedestrian danger? 

 

A number of factors are likely contributing to pedestrian danger.  Sprawling development and the auto-oriented design of many new communities and developments has made streets in more recently developed areas more dangerous for pedestrians.  Aggressive drivers fed up with traffic and delays also play a role.  While only 5 percent of pedestrians die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 mph or less, 80 percent die at speeds of 40 mph. 

 

Demographic changes may also be a factor.  California’s populations of children and seniors have swelled in recent years, and both groups rely heavily upon on non-motorized travel modes like walking, biking, wheelchairs and other devices for independent mobility.  The ethnic and racial make-up of cities and counties is also a major factor in pedestrian injury rates, partly due to the arrival of recent immigrants who are accustomed to environments where walking is safer and more common and partly where race and ethnicity tracks with lower income levels. (For a more detailed discussion and research review of the linkages between pedestrian fatalities and race, ethnicity, and income, see STPP’s “Dangerous by Design” report published in September 2000 and available at www.transact.org/ca/)

 

While the latest round of both California-specific traffic fatality and injury data along with the 2000 U.S. Census data suggest many interesting trends, any thorough analysis of pedestrian safety data will continue to be hampered by the lack of available data on how much people walk. It is imperative that transportation agencies – local, state and federal – begin to collect more accurate annual data on pedestrian activity in order to more accurately assess trends and find solutions to pedestrian safety problems. Meanwhile, transportation officials must continue to aggressively implement many of the pedestrian safety and walkability programs highlighted in the previous “cheers” section in order to create a safer environment for all users of the transportation and street networks.

 

 

 

TABLE 3:  Pedestrian Fatalities & Injuries By Race and Ethnicity

 

Race/
Ethnicity

Pedestrian Fatal Injuries

2000 (1)

Hospitalized

Pedestrian Injuries 2000 (1)

Total Hospitalized Incidents 2000

Percent Share of Total Incidents

Percent Share of Total Population 1999 (2)

Asian/Pacific Islander 

70

370

440

7.7

11

African American

65

607

672

11.8

7

Hispanic

 

293

1853

2146

37.8

30

Native American

7

10

17

0.3

1

White

 

325

1877

2202

38.7

51

Unknown/
Other

0

206

206

3.6

---

Total

 

760

4923

5683

100

100

 

   Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

   (1) California Department of Health Services, EPIC, California Injury Data.  
   www.applications.dhs.ca.gov/epicdata/STpedestrian.html. Data is based on fatal hospitalized 
   and nonfatal hospitalized pedestrian incidents only.

 

   (2) California Department of Finance, “Race/Ethnic Population Estimates: Components of Change
   for California Counties April 1990 to July 1999.” http://www.dof.ca.gov/HTML/DEMOGRAP/
   Race-eth.xls.

 


 

                                                      

 

TABLE 4: California Pedestrian Danger Index

Historical Pedestrian Safety Rankings by County 1997 - 2001

 

COUNTY

 

1997 *

1998 *

1999 *

2000**

2001**

ALAMEDA

9

10

11

10

10

BUTTE

24

27

26

27

26

CONTRA COSTA

3

5

2

1

4

EL DORADO

26

30

29

22

29

FRESNO

17

19

22

18

21

HUMBOLDT

29

29

28

35

33

IMPERIAL

32

25

27

33

30

KERN

7

6

8

8

9

KINGS

31

34

31

32

32

LOS ANGELES

4

1

3

6

3

MADERA

20

16

18

25

18

MARIN

16

13

13

20

17

MERCED

28

28

33

24

13

MONTEREY

33

32

34

26

34

NAPA

35

31

30

34

31

ORANGE

6

8

6

12

11

PLACER

22

9

20

19

23

RIVERSIDE

21

21

23

13

15

SACRAMENTO

2

4

1

5

2

SAN BERNARDINO

19

20

15

17

16

SAN DIEGO

23

23

21

21

19

SAN FRANCISCO

13

15

12

15

14

SAN JOAQUIN

8

14

7

3

5

SAN LUIS OBISPO

30

35

35

30

35

SAN MATEO

5

3

5

7

6

SANTA BARBARA

27

26

24

29

25

SANTA CLARA

1

2

4

4

7

SANTA CRUZ

12

11

16

28

27

SHASTA

15

18

25

16

20

SOLANO

10

12

14

2

1

SONOMA

18

22

19

23

24

STANISLAUS

11

7

9

11

8

TULARE

25

24

17

14

22

VENTURA

14

17

10

9

12

YOLO

34

33

32

31

28

 

** Rankings based on 2000 Census Journey to Work statistics

* Rankings based on 1990 Census Journey to Work statistics

 


 

 

TABLE 5: PEDESTRIANS AS A PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL TRAFFIC FATALITIES -- 2001

 

RANK

COUNTY

2001 Total

traffic

fatalities

2001

pedestrian

fatalities

% of total

traffic

fatalities

1

San Francisco

40

20

50.0%

2

Marin

12

4

33.3%

3

Los Angeles

768

233

30.3%

4

Orange

207

54

26.1%

5

Contra Costa

57

14

24.6%

6

San Diego

290

66

22.8%

7

Alameda

111

24

21.6%

8

Sacramento

147

30

20.4%

9

Santa Clara

113

22

19.5%

10

San Mateo

33

6

18.2%

11

Ventura

73

13

17.8%

12

Stanislaus

85

14

16.5%

13

Santa Barbara

38

6

15.8%

14

Placer

32

5

15.6%

15

San Bernardino

334

52

15.6%

16

Merced

72

11

15.3%

17

Humboldt

20

3

15.0%

18

Solano

41

6

14.6%

19

San Joaquin

120

17

14.2%

20

Riverside

262

35

13.4%

21

Napa

16

2

12.5%

22

Fresno

149

18

12.1%

23

Santa Cruz

25

3

12.0%

24

Kern

143

16

11.2%

25

Madera

46

5

10.9%

26

Sonoma

59

6

10.2%

27

Tulare

81

8

9.9%

28

El Dorado

22

2

9.1%

29

Kings

35

3

8.6%

30

Butte

38

2

5.3%

31

Monterey

61

3

4.9%

32

Shasta

44

2

4.5%

33

San Luis Obispo

44

2

4.5%

34

Yolo

24

1

4.2%

35

Imperial

45

1

2.2%

 

Source: 2001 Provisional traffic injury & fatality numbers from the California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS)

 

 

 


 

 

TABLE 6: CHANGE IN COMMUTERS WALKING TO WORK IN CALIFORNIA 1990 - 2000

 

 

 County

 

Percent of Commuters Walking to Work 2000

 (1)

 

Percent of Commuters Walking to Work 1990

 (2)

 

 % change 1990 – 2000

SANTA CRUZ

4.4

3.8

+15.8%

HUMBOLDT

6.5

6.0

+8.3%

MARIN

3.0

3.0

0.0%

SAN FRANCISCO

9.4

9.8

-4.1%

SONOMA

3.1

3.3

-6.1%

SAN LUIS OBISPO

3.7

4.0

-7.5%

ORANGE

2.0

2.2

-9.1%

YOLO

3.8

4.2

-9.5%

BUTTE

3.4

3.8

-10.5%

SANTA BARBARA

4.0

4.5

-11.1%

LOS ANGELES

2.9

3.3

-12.1%

SACRAMENTO

2.1

2.4

-12.5%

STANISLAUS

2.4

2.8

-14.3%

SANTA CLARA

1.8

2.1

-14.3%

VENTURA

2.1

2.5

-16.0%

CONTRA COSTA

1.5

1.8

-16.7%

SAN BERNARDINO

2.4

2.9

-17.2%

KINGS

3.3

4.0

-17.5%

SHASTA

2.2

2.7

-18.5%

SAN MATEO

2.1

2.6

-19.2%

NAPA

4.1

5.1

-19.6%

ALAMEDA

3.2

4.0

-20.0%

SAN JOAQUIN

2.3

2.9

-20.7%

KERN

1.9

2.4

-20.8%

IMPERIAL

3.7

4.7

-21.3%

RIVERSIDE

1.9

2.5

-24.0%

SAN DIEGO

3.4

4.5

-24.4%

FRESNO

2.4

3.2

-25.0%

MADERA

2.4

3.2

-25.0%

TULARE

2.5

3.4

-26.5%

PLACER

1.7

2.4

-29.2%

EL DORADO

2.2

3.4

-35.3%

SOLANO

1.6

2.5

-36.0%

MERCED

3.0

5.0

-40.0%

MONTEREY

3.8

7.1

-46.5%

CALIFORNIA

2.9

3.4

-14.7%

 

Source: 1990 & 2000 Journey to Work data from the U.S. Census

 

 


Pedestrian fatalities and pedestrian injuries 2001:

All pedestrian injury and fatality data are from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) managed by the California Department of Highway Patrol. Numbers for 2001 are provisional.

 

Population 2001:

Population estimates are from the California Department of Finance and have been updated to reflect the most recent revisions to county population totals.

 

Pedestrian Incident Rate:

Pedestrian incident rates are calculated by dividing all pedestrian injuries and fatalities by population and then multiplying by 100,000.

 

Pedestrian Exposure Index:

The Pedestrian Exposure Index is taken from the 2000 U.S. Census Journey To Work statistics and reflects the approximate percentage of people over 16 years old walking to work multiplied by 100. This is widely seen as the best available surrogate for overall levels of pedestrian activity. The Journey to Work data provide an indication of basic exposure for pedestrians. It is most important in establishing a measure of relative  exposure of pedestrians between counties, and for this purpose it is likely a conservative estimate.

 

California Pedestrian Danger Index:

The California Pedestrian Danger Index is calculated by dividing the pedestrian incident rate by the pedestrian exposure rate and then adjusting the number to a 0-100 scale where the highest ranking county scores 100 and all other counties are adjusted accordingly to the same scale.

 

Historical Rankings, California Pedestrian Danger:

Rankings prior to 2000 used Journey to Work data from the 1990 Census.