For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Matt Nichols, Office of Transportation, (510) 981-7068

CITY PLANS FOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
Top 100 Intersections Ranked in Berkeley’s First Pedestrian Plan

Berkeley, California (Monday, March 10, 2008) - Berkeley pedestrians and the City can work together to make walking safer for more people, according to a draft of the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan that will be submitted to the City Council on Tuesday, March 11.

The Plan ranks 100 intersections in Berkeley based on safety, usage, and access to major destinations, and recommends improvements to 91 of them.  The Plan also recommends changes to the City’s zoning and design review, provides design standards, and calls for increased law enforcement. Public education campaigns will also help remind drivers, cyclists and pedestrians of how to share the streets safely.

“Although this plan was already underway when it happened, the deaths of two City employees over the holidays added to our sense of urgency,” said the City’s transportation planner, Matt Nichols. “There was a lot of public input into this plan already, and we’re looking forward to hearing the response to the draft.”

The draft of Berkeley’s first Pedestrian Master Plan is available at Berkeley libraries and online (click here or type www.CityofBerkeley.info/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=4078 into your web browser). The City is inviting public comment through April 11, 2008.

On March 20, at 7 p.m., the public is invited to participate in a Transportation Commission workshop on the plan at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

Berkeley has a high number of pedestrians compared to other cities our size. A few stats:

A 2003 study in the journal Injury Prevention compared the number of collision injuries per pedestrian, and found Berkeley to be the safest city for walking, compared to other California cities with more than 60,000 people. However, that still translates to an average of 137 pedestrian-vehicle collisions per year, one of the highest numbers in the state. (The term “pedestrian” refers to any person moving on foot, or with the use of an mobility device such as a wheelchair.)

Comments received by City Council, Commissions and the public will result in a final Pedestrian Plan that is expected to enhance grant fundraising and guide public investment in Berkeley for the next 20 years. More information about walking in Berkeley can be found at http://www.CityofBerkeley.info/transportation/Walking/walking.html.

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