Pedestrian accidents happen a lot more frequently than they should in Encinitas, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The city recognizes the particular risks for pedestrians who walk along El Camino Real, and the city is taking steps to try to make this stretch safer for anyone who is on foot. The city recently hired an expert to conduct a “walking audit” of El Camino Real with a group of participants and to make recommendations for preventing a pedestrian accident and improving safety in general for pedestrians in the area.
What can the city do to make Encinitas a more pedestrian-friendly place?
The “Walking Audit” and its Outcome
The “walking audit” was conducted by Dan Burden, a consultant hired by the city to work with participants to determine what kinds of safety measures could be taken to prevent pedestrian accidents on El Camino Real. The “walking audit” involved walking several miles with the participants down El Camino Real as they each pointed out “trouble spots” and “opportunities to do better.” Burden then developed a list of recommendations for Encinitas, and he presented them to the City Council shortly afterward.
What did Burden suggest for improving pedestrian safety on El Camino Real? He came up with two different types of recommendations—“easy fixes” as well as plans for more long-term improvement along the El Camino Real corridor.
Recommendations for Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
Here is what he recommended in terms of “easy fixes” in Encinitas:
- Plant trees in the roadway medians;
- Widen the sidewalks;
- Encourage any neighborhood shopping centers that are remodeling to link their properties to pedestrian pathways;
- Narrow certain vehicle traffic lanes on El Camino Real;
- “Colorizing” bike lanes to make them stand out better to motor vehicle operators; and
- Reduce the speed limit for vehicles on El Camino Real to 35 miles per hour.
As you might be able to guess, some of these “easy fixes” could be implemented without significant work—such as reducing the speed limit or planting trees—while others would require some substantial construction efforts, at least for a short period of time. What did Burden recommend in terms of long-term goals for reducing the rate of pedestrian accidents and fatalities on El Camino? He proposed cultivating better public and private partnerships with shopping centers along El Camino to develop pedestrian safety plans and creating a “theme” for this section of El Camino, and using it “as a decorative embellishment along the corridor.”
In other words, long-term plans should focus on raising awareness about pedestrian safety and more generally changing the way that Encinitas residents see their roles in promoting pedestrian safety along El Camino Real. According to Mayor Catherine Blakespear, the City Council “plans to set aside $250,000 in the coming fiscal year for improvements to El Camino and will use Burden’s advice as it explores how to spend that money.”
Contact an Encinitas Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or someone in your family suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, you should speak to an Encinitas pedestrian accident lawyer to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Walton law Firm today for more information.
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(image courtesy of Nabeel Syed)