How can we improve pedestrian safety?

The City’s Pedestrian Safety Ordinance, which requires drivers to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street, has been quite controversial. Sometimes the best way to deal with controversies like this is to step back and look at the bigger picture. In that, there should be two things that are not controversial:

  • The goal of a community that provides for pedestrian safety and access;
  • The responsibility that pedestrians, motorists, and the city share to provide that safety.

That’s why Councilmember Sabra Briere and I are working to develop a Citizen Pedestrian Safety Task Force that can look at the data, industry best practices, the specifics of our location, and the full toolbox of safety-enhancing techniques to propose how to meet our shared goal: a community that provides for pedestrian safety and access.

Concurrently, staff are working to secure funding for a more involved approach that would involve a technical committee and additional professional expertise. I believe the task force has value whether or not such funding is secured.

A core resource in this effort is the Federal Highway Administration’s document How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.