Explore Safe Streets Best Practices in New Guide

July 23, 2019

A recently released guide, Safe Streets, Healthy Families Advocacy Guide, offers Los Angeles neighborhood residents a suite of tools and resources to improve street conditions through advocacy and education. The safety advocacy guide, created by Los Angeles Walks, Best Start Metro LA, and Best Start Panorama City, empowers residents with community-led solutions to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities. 

Walkability is an important part of a thriving community. As noted in the safe streets guide, historical infrastructure disinvestment in marginalized communities has resulted in poorly maintained roads where unmediated speeding is the norm. This is especially true in Los Angeles, where speeding is a leading cause of roadway fatalities. For every increase in vehicle speed by ten miles per hour, the likelihood a person will survive a crash reduces dramatically. When a car traveling twenty miles per hour hits a person walking, the pedestrian has a ninety percent survival rate. However, if the same car hit that pedestrian forty miles per hour, the probability of survival drops to ten percent.

Text reads traffic crashes are the #1 cause of death in children 2-14 years-old.

Source: Safe Streets, Healthy Families

Safe Streets Healthy Families is a user-friendly guide intended to lift residents up with a language for understanding how to navigate urban planning processes and when to organize, prioritize, and take action. The guide provides actionable steps for community leaders to advocate for healthy, just, livable, and safe streets.

Safe Streets Healthy Families provides examples of “creative actions” that can build power in communities to spark a local street safety movement. The guide defines a creative action as a “collaborative project that is self-determined by the community, brings the community together, increases community power, and builds residents’ civic capacity to create change.”

Possible courses of creative actions mentioned in the guide include organizing around a new decorative crosswalk, hosting a block party, or facilitating educational pedestrian safety workshops in schools. The guide provides step by step instructions written in easy-to-digest language accompanied by fun, bright graphics. 

Additionally, resources at the end of the guide provide beneficial links to organizations and tools designed to help residents advocate for policies and programs centered around roadway safety.

UC Berkeley SafeTREC offers an array of programs to assist local community leaders, agencies, and transportation practitioners in advancing transportation safety as well. For more information on pedestrian and bicycle safety programs, visit the CPBST page here. For Complete Streets policies at the local level in California, be sure to check out the pedestrian and bicycle master plans on CATSIP. For local agencies interested in identifying and implementing traffic safety solutions that lead to improved safety for all users, UC Berkeley SafeTREC is offering free Complete Streets Safety Assessments (CSSA) for California agencies with a population of over 25,000 people. Visit the CSSA program page to learn more and how to apply.

Source: Safe Streets, Healthy Families