CALIFORNIA
Walnut Creek Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program

 

PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS PROGRAM AREA(S)
  Exemplifies "seed money" concept
Targets hard-to-reach/at risk population
  Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety
Youth Programs
       
TYPE OF JURISDICTION    
  City    
       
TARGETED POPULATION(S) JURISDICTION SIZE
  General Population
Youth
  63,000


PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
The City of Walnut Creek, California historically has had a bicycle crash rate that averaged higher than crash rates of other, comparable jurisdictions within the state. Collision statistics for 1996 revealed that motor vehicle crashes in Walnut Creek involved 41 bicyclists. The majority of these cases involved bicyclists traveling the wrong way on a major arterial roadway system.


GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Walnut Creek's Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program was developed in 1998 to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Objectives associated with the program include the following:

  • Establishing a comprehensive continuing public education program
  • Developing an ongoing bicycle rodeo program for the elementary schools
  • Creating a diversion program for adult bicyclists who violate bicycle-related laws
  • Increasing the use of safety equipment by bicyclists, in-line skaters, skateboarders, and pedestrians


STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program was kicked-off in October 1998 with a week long Safety Connection Fair and Festival. The Safety Connection events were publicized at the beginning of the week with banners, newspaper advertising, and the dissemination of event calendars at a bicycle helmet distribution event. The program's kick-off was sponsored by local businesses, Formerly Employed Mothers at the Leading Edge (F.E.M.A.L.E.) and by a local chapter of Girl Scouts of America. Live music and free food was provided during the kick-off, and scheduled events included the federally-created Pedestrian Safety Road Show program, a bicycle safety and maintenance clinic, a senior citizens' forum on driver safety and educational programs at the local schools. The week ended with several highly- publicized special events, such as an in-line skate and skateboard competition and a bicycle stunt competition.

For the past two years, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program officials have developed and implemented a bicycle diversion program, a bicycle rodeo program, senior citizen education classes and permanent educational signs for major arterial roadways. These programs have now been incorporated into Walnut Creek's annual work plan.


RESULTS
The following results highlight the major accomplishments achieved through the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program:

  • Data for 1999 indicate that all traffic crash-related pedestrian fatalities and injuries were reduced by 46.67 percent over 1997 statistics
  • Pedestrian fatalities and injuries suffered by children under the age of 15 were reduced by 87.71 percent from the base year 1997 through 1999
  • Pedestrian fatalities and injuries suffered by adults over the age of 50 were reduced by 71.43 percent from the base year 1997 through 1999
  • In situations involving pedestrian violations, pedestrian fatalities and injuries were reduced by 95.65 percent for the same time period
 

FUNDING
  Section 402: $37,000
CONTACT  
 

Kathleen Wilkie
Assistant Engineer
City of Walnut Creek
1666 North Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 2563529


NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

SPRING 2000