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Report shows more pedestrian collisions

Police plan to increase public’s awareness of how to stay safe when walking with tri-fold brochures.

December 29, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

DOWNTOWN — The number of pedestrian-involved vehicle collisions are up this year despite myriad outreach efforts, according to the latest Glendale Police Department figures.

There were 89 traffic accidents involving pedestrians from January through November, up from 74 compared to the same period last year, according to the Police Department. The increase came despite highly publicized pedestrian safety workshops and campaigns that were initiated in response to Glendale’s poor pedestrian safety rating.

The uptick could also erode what little progress Glendale made last year in improving its ranking among 55 similarly-sized California cities. In 2008, Glendale improved from the third- to eighth-worst city in terms of the number of pedestrian-related vehicle collisions, according to California Office of Traffic Safety rankings released last week.

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The city’s ranking also improved in collisions involving pedestrians 65 and older from worst to second worst.

“We are hoping for a better 2010,” Glendale Police Sgt. Dennis Smith said.

The higher number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in Glendale has prompted police officials to plan another round of public outreach efforts next month, he said.

“Every time I hear an auto pedestrian collision [call] go out, I stop for a moment and the hair on the back of neck stands up,” Smith said. “We don’t want that to happen.”

Officers will distribute tri-fold brochures that include tips on walking safely in a variety of languages at supermarkets, retirement homes and other public facilities, he said.

Some supermarkets on Glendale Avenue have offered to distribute the brochures to customers in the past.

Police passed out the brochures earlier this year in areas where the most pedestrian-vehicle collisions occur, such as Central Avenue, Smith said.

“I am hoping we can reach out to some people and make them more vigilant when they cross the street,” he said.

In Glendale, four people were killed last year and 93 were injured in pedestrian-vehicle collisions, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The department created the statewide ranking system so cities could compare themselves to other similar urban areas, spokesman Chris Cochran said.

If city officials notice troubling trends, they could request state funding to help address any traffic-related issues, he said.

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