In recent years, cities around the U.S. have been working to improve foot and bike traffic, while decreasing motor vehicle traffic. This has been implemented for numerous reasons. Clean air projects, less traffic, healthier and mobile citizens, to name a few. While these are terrific visions for communities in the long-run, there have been some short-term issues presenting themselves along the way. While motor vehicle accidents and fatalities have dropped in many cities, the pedestrian and cyclist related injuries and deaths have spiked.
In the past several years, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have increased in Los Angeles particularly. Los Angeles, California is one of 18 U.S. cities that have vowed to create a traffic fatality and injury-free city by 2024. The movement was first introduced to Sweden in the late 1990’s, which then became a success and has been named ‘Vision Zero’. The ways in which each city plans to accomplish this vary. Some cities are lowering speed limits while others are improving cycle and pedestrian-heavy intersections. Both improvements are helpful to the overall goal of project Vision Zero.
Ways to Improve Cycling and Pedestrian Safety in Your Neighborhood:
- Abide by the speed limit
- Stay alert for pedestrians and cyclists
- Give pedestrians and cyclists the right of way
- Allow plenty of space between cars and bicycles on the road
- Remember to wear reflective gear when riding and walking at night
- Wear a helmet
- Utilize traffic signals
- Educate your children about sharing the road
- Acknowledge that the road is shared among vehicles and bicycles
We have seen many, great and some not so great, strides toward a traffic free and injury and fatality free city in Los Angeles the past few years. While there has definitely been a learning curve with the newly introduced e-bikes and e-scooters, they are for a bigger vision of an active community. New infrastructure and design making its way around the city has been helpful for creating bike lanes and creating more space and safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Each step we take toward safer roads is a step toward accomplishing Vision Zero. The next time you are out riding, walking or driving, remember what your city could look like if you just put in the effort. Slow down a bit and know that being in a rush could cost someone their life.
Los Angeles deserves to be a healthy and bustling city without the trauma of daily fatalities and/or injuries. If you know someone who is suffering from a cycling-related incident, be sure to remind them of their rights. We encourage everyone to seek justice from the law if they are in a cycling-related accident, whether it be minor or as serious as a hit-and-run accident. Pattenaude Law is here to help you and your family, and to help Los Angeles be the best traffic injury-free city it can be.