Pedestrian Training Roundup: catching up with the SafeTREC Community Pedestrian Safety workshops team
On a cloudy Saturday morning in early December, a group of community members met in a neighborhood center in East Oakland to take part in a Community Pedestrian Safety Training Workshop.
Developed and conducted by SafeTREC staff in partnership with the non-profit pedestrian advocacy group, California Walks, it was one of 12 scheduled as part of a program that SafeTREC created with the support of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).
The workshop was conducted in Spanish, with simultaneous translation through headphones for English speakers. Three members of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), along with a local Oakland Police Department liaison, and staff from OTS, were on hand to hear comments and provide information about a number of traffic safety programs and policies. In addition to residents, community organization staff were in attendance, including a member of the board of Walk Oakland-Bike Oakland (WOBO).
After the presentation, participants broke into three groups that conducted separate pedestrian safety audits of the immediate neighborhood. On returning, the three groups, led by trainers, compiled their findings and concerns over lunch. At the end, they shared their work with the larger group and made plans to enlist local and state resources to address their findings.
Eight such workshops were conducted in 2009. Four more are scheduled as part of this project, which ends September 30, 2010. Future workshops that SafeTREC and its partners are giving include a pre-conference workshop at the Childhood Injury Conference in March in Burlingame. Others are tentatively scheduled for a location in Santa Cruz County, Eureka, and southern California.
Additionally, a select number of locations took part in a three-day workshop conducted by the California Department of Public Health in which communities develop Pedestrian Safety Action Plans (PSAPs). The PSAP workshops are facilitated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Both efforts are funded by OTS and were developed to help meet a primary objective in California’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which is to promote development of pedestrian safety action plans in the state.
As this first round of community pedestrian safety trainings comes to a close, the following is a roundup of workshops conducted so far..
Sites are selected based on OTS crash rankings, degree of community interest and contacts, and equity in distribution of trainings in terms of geography (e.g., north and south, coast and interior) as well as type of setting (urban, semi-urban, and rural). Crash data is gathered by the CHP and OTS and analyzed with help from SafeTREC researchers, who generated the crash maps used in the trainings.
To date, seven locations have been officially evaluated (two trainings were conducted in Oakland). Together they drew nearly 270 participants. Some comments taken from the evaluations follow:
“I really liked how the city officials and board members of major city/state programs were present. It really made me feel like my voice was heard and my ideas will be taken seriously.”
“There are many things we can do to change our community.”
“Going on the walk was extremely valuable and educational.”
“There is a lot of help out there that I wasn't aware of.”
“I have the power to make a change.”
“There is so much work to be done, we need to find lots of creative, “think outside the box” solutions.
“There are actions we can take.”
Below are some snapshot reports, including pedestrian crash maps, press coverage, or other related materials.
Delano is 10 square miles in size with a population of 38,827. From 2003-2007, it experienced 6 fatal pedestrian collisions, and 16 involving serious injury, for a total of 22.
Glendale occupies 30 square miles and has a population of 194,973. From 2003-2007, there were 17 fatal pedestrian crashes and 54 that resulted in severe injury.
Glendale was the site of the first training workshop. It involved city staff and professionals as well as residents, advocates, and elected officials. The initial workshop resulted in a story in the Glendale News Press, "Pedestrians get lesson in safety." There was also a write up in the June 2009 SafeTREC/TSC Newsletter, "Pedestrian Safety Training Debuts at Glendale." On Dec. 22, the News Press ran a story, "Count shows bike trends: Glendale hopes to continue adding bicycle-friendly measures while increasing safety," discussing a project that involved some of the workshop participants, including a staff member from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who is helping develop the Glendale Safe & Healthy Streets Plan.
The Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles experienced 13 fatal pedestrian crashes and 43 crashes resulting in serious injury to pedestrians for the period 2003-2007.
The training for LA-Crenshaw was carried out in partnership with the Los Angeles Urban League and the California Great Communities Collaborative. Among the participants were members of the Crenshaw High School football team, some of whom are pictured.
With an area of 56 square miles and a population of just under 400,000, the City of Oakland overall experienced 50 fatal pedestrian crashes and 142 resulting in serious pedestrian injuries from 2003-2007.
There were two pedestrian safety trainings in Oakland, one in the evening on a Thursday night, and one on Saturday morning, featuring bilingual presentations, as well as walking audits (one of which is pictured). Oakland police and officers from the California Highway Patrol attended the sessions, along with staff from the city's traffic engineering department, staffers from the Office of Traffic Safety, as well as residents and advocates, including a board member from Walk Oakland-Bike Oakland (WOBO). This also was conducted in partnership with the California Great Communities Collaborative.
The workshops merited a mention in the AC Transit blog,
Santa Ana is 27 square miles in size, with a population of just over 337,000. It experienced 48 fatal pedestrian crashes and 110 crashes resulting in severe pedestrian injury from 2003-2007.
One feature of the Santa Ana training was a Walk to School Day event, in which schoolchildren and their parents carried signs to draw attention to the importance of driving safely on their school route.
Santa Barbara is 19 square miles in size, with a population of 92,235. It experienced 16 fatal pedestrian crashes and 140 crashes resulting in serious pedestrian injury from 2003-2007.
Stockton occupies an area of 54 square miles, with a population of 243,771. From 2003-2007, there were 32 fatal pedestrian crashes and 74 resulting in serious injury to a pedestrian.