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'Make your mark': SANDAG seeks public input to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety

Posted at 8:35 AM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 11:35:47-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Are you big into riding your bike or walking around town?

If so, there's a new tool you might be interested in using to let the county know what areas are in need of safety improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists and others.

SANDAG, or the San Diego Association of Governments, now has an interactive map live on its websitewhere the public can go and drop a mark to suggest an area in need of safety improvements. All the data collected over the next few months will go into the county's updated "Active Transportation Plan," which hasn't been revised in over a decade.

SANDAG said about 230 people are killed on San Diego roads every year, and about 1,400 people are injured badly from traffic crashes.

Antoinette Mieier, SANDAG's Senior Director of Regional Planning, said that's unacceptable.

"So traffic fatalities, 250 in the San Diego region alone in the last year," Mieier said. "And a third of those fatalities involved pedestrians."

In its newly adopted Vision Zero initiative, SANDAG believes all collisions involving a vehicle hitting pedestrian or bicyclist are preventable, not inevitable.

SANDAG recently received two grants for that initative.

"We haven't developed the Active Transportation Plan since 2010, and a lot has changed," Mierier said. "Particularly during COVID, we saw a lot of people adopting e-biking as a way of getting around and it has continued to increase, so we have to update our Active Transportation Plan to account for some of these new modes, like electric bikes and electric scooters."

The second grant is going towards educating the public on new laws recently passed to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

"So one of the laws is that you actually have to switch lanes when you are passing somebody riding a bike," Mieier said. "We don't think many people know about this, so we want to get the word out and educate drivers on that."

SANDAG also has a second map up on its website called the Traffic Safety Dashboard. It allows the public to see all the areas where past collisions have been reported, breaking down the number of fatalities and injuries. SANDAG said the map can also be a great tool for local decision makers.

Follow this link to access the interactive map where you can designate a location in need of safety improvements.