Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Santa Monica Council Wants More Road Safety so You'll Likely Be Seeing More Stop Signs Soon

Two serious bicycle accidents prompts action to generate a bunch of engineering studies

November 17, 2023 - The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously this week to strengthen the City's Vision Zero safety commitment. This will include the following practical steps:

- An engineering analysis regarding upgrading all present intersections to all-way stops

- Upgrading non-signaled intersections to all-way stop-controlled intersections

- Upgrading the portal for residents to report a dangerous intersection

- Adopting signs at two-way stop-controlled intersections that warn about cross traffic that does not stop

- Encouraging the police and Department of Transportation to review their traffic safety enforcement

- "Refreshing" the city's "Take the Friendly Road" safety messaging campaign

- Instituting "Daylighting" zones to address cars parked illegally that block lines of sight

- Identifying any potential shortfall in resources to address these safety measures

The decision to address roadway safety came in the wake of one fatal and one serious-injury bicycle accident at 19th and Idaho in the neighborhood streets north of Wilshire. In the first accident, 69-year-old Tania Mooser died when she allegedly rode her bike through the intersection and a car who had the right-of-way hit her. In the second accident, a bicyclist, Paul Postel, was traveling on 19th Street, with the right-of-way, and was broadsided by car. He suffered four broken and two bruised ribs.

The request to address road safety was made by Mayor Gleam Davis and Councilmembers Jesse Zwick and Caroline Torosis. All three are Santa Monicans for Renters Rights endorsees.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, Zwick commented that "if the death is result of human error, we're doing our infrastructure wrong." The correct infrastructure can apparently overcome human error. Mayor Davis said she would like to see Santa Monica eventually resemble a European city where mostly bicycle and foot traffic would increase the benefits to retail stores. It is unlikely Mayor Davis has walked up and down Montana Avenue or on the Promenade lately. Retail is largely dead, killed by the pandemic lockdowns and Amazon.

Councilmember Lana Negrete was not present at the meeting or for the vote.


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