'PEDS' Project Improves Pedestrian Safety In Richmond
April 21, 2008
A collaboration by Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and the City of Richmond using the "three E's" strategy has contributed to a significant reduction in pedestrian injuries in the county's second largest city, according to a report to be delivered Tuesday to the Richmond City Council.
The City of Richmond had high rates of pedestrian injuries over several years, particularly for children 15 years old and under, according to the state Office of Transportation Safety (OTS). This was despite the fact that Richmond has one of the smallest populations of any city in its OTS size category.
The Richmond Pedestrian Project--nicknamed PEDS--was funded in 2005 by a grant from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was designed to increase enforcement of pedestrian laws, educate drivers and pedestrians, and engineer safer streets for pedestrians -- the three E's.
"The City of Richmond took the lead on enforcement and engineering activities and CCHS administered the grant and did the educational components with the help of some community groups," said Nancy Baer, Manager of Contra Costa Health Services' Injury Prevention Project. "The decrease in injuries over the past two years is a real testament to the success of the collaboration."
In 2002, Richmond ranked first in pedestrians age 15-and-under killed and injured for cities in its size category, according to OTS collision rankings. By 2004, Richmond had improved its ranking to 16th in that category, but local officials acknowledged there was more work to be done.
From 2005 to 2006 in Richmond, injuries declined 77% for pedestrians ages 15 and under, and 72% for pedestrians of all ages. During 2006 and 2007 combined, injuries declined 64% from 2005 for pedestrians of all ages.
"The Richmond Police Department is pleased to have partnered with CCHS and the city engineering staff on this," said Sgt. Andre Hill, "It has been a successful project with life-saving results."
By mapping collision sites, the PEDS project identified five priority pedestrian collision "hot spots": 23rd Street just north of Macdonald Avenue, 23rd near Richmond High School, Macdonald and 37th Street, Macdonald between Second and Fourth streets, and Cutting and Carlson boulevards.
The Richmond Police Department conducted 65 pedestrian enforcement shifts, rotating between all five hot spots. A total of 419 citations were issued to motorists who failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
A speed read-out trailer was purchased and deployed at hot spots when officers could not be present. Richmond Engineering Division also developed a plan, purchased materials and installed crosswalk improvements at hot spot locations around schools.
Educational activities conducted by Contra Costa Health Services included the development and marketing of a new pedestrian safety slogan for the West Contra Costa STREET SMARTS Campaign titled "Use Your STREET SMARTS: See Eye-to-Eye with Drivers."
More information about Street Smarts and the Injury Prevention Project is available online at www.cchealth.org, the website for Contra Costa Health Services, by clicking on Wellness and Prevention.
For more information about the Richmond Pedestrian Project, contact Shannon Ladner-Beasley at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 925-313-6813.
# # #