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Walkable & Bike-friendly Streets Make Safe San Diego Neighborhoods

San Diegans want to be able to travel without spending precious time in traffic, to enjoy more time with family and friends.

That requires more convenient transportation choices, including expanded public transportation, as well as more interconnected bikeways and walkways.

Yet, every day an average of one person is seriously injured or killed while walking, biking, or driving around the city of San Diego.

In addition to human suffering, these collisions are costly: in 2013, 81 deaths in San Diego cost taxpayers and crash victims an estimated $745.2 million.

And the city of San Diego is not alone.

A recent report by Governing the States and Localities found that there were 261 pedestrian fatalities across San Diego County between 2008 and 2012, with the greatest fatalities occurring in neighborhoods with poverty greater than 25%.

How San Diegans get around on our streets

Graphic: Courtesy of Circulate San Diego, Excerpted from Vision Zero.

Making Communities Pedestrian- and Bicycle-Friendly

With this in mind, The San Diego Foundation has provided approximately $170,000 in funding to organizations, including Circulate San Diego and San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, to engage in local efforts to make our communities pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

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And their efforts have yielded great returns for our region.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city of San Diego officials recently announced their support for Circulate San Diego’s “Vision Zero” plan, to eliminate all traffic deaths in the city by 2025 by employing safer street design, education and awareness campaigns for walkers and drivers, and heightened traffic enforcement.

Likewise, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has adopted a regional policy promoting “Complete Streets” – streets designed for safe access by all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders – for every city in the San Diego region, as well as the county.

Neighborhoods Leading the Way

While there is much more we can do to make our region more walkable and bikeable, some cities have already made great strides.

La Mesa Trolley Station

According to a recent Regional Walk Scorecard by Circulate San Diego, the cities of La Mesa, National City and Imperial Beach received top rankings for current walkability, as well as policies and projects underway to improve walking conditions in the future.

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