Poor road design is one of the biggest reasons why some streets are more dangerous than others in California. This is particularly true for non-motorists who share our roads, like pedestrians, bicyclists, and scooter riders.
Many of our city streets are great for cars but terrible for pedestrians. San Francisco has a long history of deadly accidents on certain roads, although the city has recently made great progress in welcoming walking-friendly features.
While some of the most dangerous roads in the nation are located right here in California, there’s new hope on the horizon. The California Department of Transportations (Caltrans) recently issued a rule that all future road projects must involve “complete streets.”
What Are Complete Streets?
According to Caltrans, the Complete Streets initiative provides comprehensive access to people of all mobilities, abilities, and ages. This includes people who walk, use bikes, depend on assistive devices, and use public transit services as their primary mode of transportation.
Under the new Complete Streets directive, all newly-proposed road and transportation projects must specify numerous transportation options beyond traditional motorist-focused options alone. The overall goal is to create a more sustainable transportation future in California and decrease reliance on vehicles.
The transition to Complete Streets was first announced way back in 2010. Since then, some community groups have been frustrated with the slow progress of the project. The delays are mostly due to funding, complex research needs, and ongoing planning challenges involving major projects that have been in the works for decades.
The 2022 State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP) includes a Complete Streets timeline that stretches out as far as 2031. So look for pedestrian-friendly improvements to continue appearing on our streets, even at a slow pace!
What Do Complete Streets Mean for Drivers, Riders, and Walkers?
In plain language, these changes mean everyone must adapt to a new way of sharing the road. California no longer focuses on vehicles as the primary form of human transportation, so motorists should prepare for a future with more people on foot, on scooters, using assistive devices, and more.
Impatient motorists should adjust their expectations about who has the right of way in certain situations and who “deserves” to be on the roads. In areas with heavy pedestrian and cyclist traffic, drivers should slow down and look out for small-size road users.
For walkers, scooter users, cyclists, and other non-vehicle travelers, this means staying alert and watching out for others as you move. Even when you have the right of way, ensure motorists see and acknowledge you before crossing their path.
The Complete Streets project is a great example of California communities making huge progress toward safer streets for everyone. But if something goes wrong and you need the help of an experienced traffic accident lawyer, please reach out to the caring and compassionate team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
After a traffic accident, please contact the attorney team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of personal injury law, including pedestrian, bike, and car accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. Call 877-380-8852 today for a free case evaluation.