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Pedestrian Safety

Streets Are For Everyone Releases Report “Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles”

Car crash – photo via LAFD

This week the nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) released Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles, a short report on traffic violence in the city of Los Angeles. The trends are not good. Find the full report at SAFE's webpage. Below are some takeaways:

2022 Traffic Fatalities Higher Than Ever

There were 309 traffic fatalities in 2022, breaking the 300 mark for the first time in over 20 years, which is how far our records reach. This was an increase of five percent from the previous year and a staggering 28 percent increase over 2020.

Graph of city of Los Angeles traffic fatalities 2003-2022 - via SAFE

Pedestrians, cyclists, people in cars, etc. are all trending upward in the past couple years. Per SAFE:

...vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – are impacted the most by traffic violence in Los Angeles. Pedestrian fatalities were up by 19 percent (157 lives lost, also the highest in 20 years). Bicycle fatalities also increased by 24 percent (21 lives lost).

Unhoused Angelenos Killed at Higher Rates

Using 2018 to 2022 data, SAFE found:

On average, housed pedestrians and cyclists in Los Angeles are killed at a rate of 2.9 per capita (100,000 individuals), a rate that is significantly higher than the national average of 2.2 per capita. However, on average, 116.6 unhoused individuals per capita are killed by traffic violence every year. That is 40.2 times more than housed pedestrians and cyclists in Los Angeles and 53 times the national average.

Recommendations for Mayor Bass

SAFE recommends:

    • Cut the Bureaucracy - including "fast-tracking hiring the personnel needed by LADOT [L.A. City Transportation Department] for road safety projects" and auditing the city's Vision Zero program.
    • Reestablish Vision Zero with Accountability, Transparency, and Purpose - including re-establishing the city's multi-departmental Vision Zero Executive Steering Committee, working with community groups, and regular quarterly reporting on traffic deaths and serious injuries.
    • Prioritize Lives over the Right to Speed - including equitably implementing automated speed enforcement on the most dangerous roads - including school zones and street racing corridors.
    • Get Real About the Magnitude of the Problem - including fully staffing LADOT Vision Zero staff, increasing Vision Zero funding, and implementing the city's Mobility Plan 2035.

Read the full report at Streets Are For Everyone.

To get involved, attend SAFE's planned die-in protest on Saturday, January 21 on the steps of L.A. City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. Participating organizations include Bike LA, So Cal Families for Safe Streets, Streets for All, Move LA, Street Racing Kills, Faith for SAFEr Streets, Walk n Rollers, Conor Lynch Foundation, SBBC+, and others. Find details at SAFE event page.

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