The Safety Education Initiative (SEI) is a data-driven effort to influence behavior change that will result in making Glendale a safer place to walk, bike and drive. The SEI is funded through a $500,000 grant the City applied for and received from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Cycle 1 Active Transportation Program (ATP). The Initiative is built upon the premise that each driver, bicyclist and pedestrian must take personal responsibility for the safety of everyone sharing the road in Glendale.
What We’ve Done
In the spring and summer of 2016, the City carried out extensive research and data-gathering before determining which were the best ways to communicate and implement the Safety Education Initiative. City staff reviewed data from the Glendale Police Department and SWIRTS (California’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System), conducted five focus groups with residents and stakeholders, and met with community-based organizations. In addition, a Pedestrian Safety Community Survey was conducted at events and online where more than 650 people responded to questions regarding their safety concerns.
What People Tell Us
In the Pedestrian Safety Survey, 94% of people agreed or strongly agreed that pedestrian safety is a big problem in Glendale, with “Bad Driver Behavior” and “Unsafe Intersections” as the top two reasons that they do not walk or ride a bike more often.
In fact, most people reported that they do not feel safe walking or biking in Glendale and most believe that driver behavior is a primary reason for why they don’t feel safe.
What the Data Tells Us
More than half the drivers involved in pedestrian and bicycle collisions live in Glendale, and the rest visit Glendale to work, shop and enjoy all the great amenities that this community has to offer.
While most pedestrian fatalities occur when people cross the street outside of crosswalks, jaywalking accounts for less than 10% of all pedestrian injuries. In fact, nearly half of all pedestrian injuries occur while the pedestrian is appropriately crossing the street in a crosswalk or at a street corner. In addition, most bicycle injuries occur when the cyclist is appropriately traveling along the right side of the road.
This happens when drivers do not take personal responsibility for the safety of all road users.
An the chart bellows tells us that younger and older pedestrians are both over-represented in the pedestrian collision data compared to their share of the total population in Glendale.
In order to make Glendale safe for walking, biking and driving, everyone must take personal responsibility to Be Street Smart!
What We Must Do
In the focus groups, we repeatedly heard about a sense of entitlement that people feel when traveling in Glendale, to the detriment of the others who are walking, biking and driving. Being Street Smart is more than just knowing the rules of the road. Laws and norms tell us each to behave a certain way and follow basic laws when walking, biking and driving. In order to Be Street Smart, each person has to move from entitlement to personal responsibility. To Be Street Smart, everyone has to do a little more to take personal responsibility for their own safety as well the safety of everyone else on the road regardless of who is at fault.
We have all seen drivers, walkers and cyclists insisting on their own right of way – each group assuming they are entitled to travel safely without regard for what everyone else is doing around them and in turn relying on others to follow the rules of the road. This creates the perfect storm for collisions to occur.
We all need to do our part.
The Be Street Smart Glendale Campaign
The Be Street Smart Glendale educational and encouragement campaign is the City of Glendale’s effort to make city streets safe for all road users – pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists. The City created Be Street Smart Glendale to raise awareness about the issue of pedestrian and bicyclist safety and to educate everyone who walks, drives or bikes in Glendale about the individual steps each person must take to ensure their safety and the safety of others.
At the same time, the campaign seeks to encourage walking and biking among City residents and employees, as well as those who work in Glendale, to create a walk-friendly and bike-friendly community that will help reduce congestion, improve air quality and foster healthier lifestyles.
The Be Street Smart Glendale campaign components include:
Advertising to generate broad awareness for the campaign and its safety messages.
Educational materials to provide information and tips on how everyone can adopt safe behaviors while walking, driving and biking in Glendale.
Events and programs to encourage walking and biking, and reinforce safety messages for all road users. This includes the Billion Step Challenge to create a thriving community of walking and biking advocates that take on the challenge to walk and bike more every day, and to do it safely!
Partnerships play a big role in the Be Street Smart Glendale campaign. Changing behavior requires more than just words, it requires sustainable actions and reinforcement through the fabric of the community. Partnerships with schools, businesses and organizations throughout the community will help to ensure that walking, biking and driving safely in Glendale becomes a cultural norm.