Walk this Way… Safely: City Investing in Hundreds of Intersections

The City of San Diego is taking steps to make nearly 300 intersections safer

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22 is too high.

34 is too high.

One is even too high for the City of San Diego who said it doesn’t want to lose any lives along its roadways, bikeways, or sidewalks. That’s one of the city’s goals as part of its Vision Zero policy.

Circulate San Diego said 22 pedestrians died in San Diego accidents in 2019. That’s down from 34 in 2018.

More than 6,500 pedestrians died nationwide in 2019.

To protect pedestrians, the city said it is investing $1.5 million in state grant funding to update and improve pedestrian safety at 281 intersections throughout San Diego.

“Every intersection might be a little bit different,” said Circulate San Diego project manager Juan Antonio Ramirez. Circulate San Diego is a non-profit organization that promotes mobility by making neighborhoods more walkable and bikeable.

“Any improvement that will lead to safer streets, safer roads for pedestrians or for any street user, it’s definitely a positive,” Ramirez added.

The City of San Diego is looking to add at least one improvement to 281 intersections. 

Those improvements could include a countdown to accompany the lighted red hand to let pedestrians know how much time they have left to cross the street.

It could also come in the form of a lead pedestrian interval, which promotes visibility by giving a pedestrian a head start into the intersection before the traffic light turns green.

Other improvements include repainting crosswalks from two lines crossing the street to a series of perpendicular lines like the crosswalk on the Beatles Abbey Road album or adding lighted signs to reinforce warnings for drivers to not make a right turn while pedestrians are crossing.

“I think that the city is doing better," Ramirez said.

With the extra effort, Ramirez said it makes sidewalks and intersections safer for San Diegans.

“It encourages people to walk."

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