South Park

Group Releases Graphic Hit-and-Run Video to Call for More Street Improvements

Surveillance video was released Tuesday that captured the moment Vicki Granowitz was struck by a car and launched into the air

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Vicki Granowitz has no memory of the hit-and-run crash outside her South Park restaurant, Fernside, that left her with a concussion, missing teeth and fractured bones in December 2018.

But one year later, she and Circulate San Diego, a nonprofit that promotes mobility projects, stood at the same intersection and released graphic surveillance video that shows the moment Granowitz was struck and launched into the air.

"I don’t remember being hit so in some ways I look at it and try to remember something," she said. "Because this thing happened to me and yet I have no memory of it at all."

The purpose of releasing the disturbing video, according to Granowitz and Circulate San Diego, is to show how preventable the crash could have been with a plan to make the city more pedestrian and bike-friendly.

Granowitz says she will still has pain due to the crash, which happened in broad daylight while she was using a crosswalk at the intersection of Fern and Grape Streets.

"What I want is for all of us to be more careful -- pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers," Granowitz said.

In 2015, the city of San Diego adopted a "Vision Zero" plan, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025 by redesigning streets with high-visibility crosswalks, bike lanes, roundabouts, and more.

The city has completed dozens of mobility projects since, but Circulate San Diego renewed the call for safety improvements by 2025 on Tuesday.

"We're halfway through that at this point and unfortunately serious injuries and fatalities continue to happen or even rise," Circulate San Diego Policy Director Mayra Rosas said.

Rosas urged the city to increase its funding for the Vision Zero efforts and "bring it to a whole new level."

The city said they allocated $13 million of their 2020 fiscal year budget to Vision Zero initiatives, including the installation of new sidewalks, traffic signals and medians. The budget for the next fiscal year will be determined with input from communities, council and staff, a city spokesperson said.

Granowitz knows that street design alone can't prevent all crashes. It will also take drivers dedicated to avoiding distractions and sharing the road with pedestrians and bicyclists.

"We don’t know what [the driver is] looking at but she rolled through; she didn’t stop and as she enters the intersection, you can see on the video, she looked down," Granowitz said.

The driver pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run and received three years probation. Her license was also suspended, according to Circulate SD.

"Being mad at her doesn’t help me so I've had to forgive her," Granowitz said.

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