Better pedestrian safety is project’s goal

Shay Dewey
City Times

Raising awareness on traffic safety was the cause for an on campus information event brought by the Transportation Safety Project on Sept. 4 and 6.

Shontey Hambrick, the community organizer for Institute for Public Strategies, Lakia “Kaya” Queen and Lawrence Walker, two student ambassadors from City College who are active on the Traffic Safety Project, partnered with Metropolitan Transit Services for an on campus event to give safety tips and guidance for riding the trolley and buses as well as bicycle and pedestrian safety.

In addition to providing information, another goal was to increase awareness in traffic safety and to encourage students, faculty and the community to get more involved.

Walker and Queen passed out safety brochures, key chains and water bottles while educating students on safety while riding the trolley, buses, walking or bicycling. Students dropped by to share their concerns about safety in the area.

The City of San Diego’s Master Plan calls for a more walkable transit oriented environment. In fact San Diego was recently voted the seventh most walkable city in America by Fitness magazine and the American Podiatric Association.

However, around City College and East Village, some hazards and accessibility issues exist. Traffic from recent development, increased construction and highways pose danger to pedestrians.

To help address the need of the community the Traffic Safety Project was formed.

The safety project is a collaboration between San Diego City College, the Institute for Public Strategies and East Village Community. This project is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety with a $417,000 grant.

The safety project not only gives information and safety tips to the community but also actively works with planners, council members and the California Office of Traffic Safety to improve safety and accessibility through new improvements and infrastructure.

According to Hambrick, one of the projects’ recent successes was on the corner of Market Street and 14th Street where they were able to get new crosswalks painted and extend crosswalk time.

Hambrick says that City College faculty members have taken an active role in the safety project. For instance, Kathy McGinnis’ fitness class did two walk audits where students identified hazards, took inventory of crosswalks, disability access and inconsistencies such as walking signals but no crosswalks. These audits were then compiled and taken to the planning departments and community meetings to receive attention from the policy makers who are able to implement change.

Dan Tomsky, senior project manager for the Institute for Project Strategies, says that San Diego City College and the East Village community are in a dynamic state of redevelopment and it is an exciting opportunity for students, faculty and the community to get involved.

Other groups involved are local agencies such as the East Village Community Action Network, Center City Development Corporation and Vitality San Diego which aim to implement smart growth planning and greater quality of life for residents of San Diego.

He urges students and community to get involved with the planning process by going to community meetings and becoming student ambassadors at City College.

One goal of the Traffic Safety Project and the Institute for Project Strategies partnership is bringing the communities voice.

Tomsky and Hambrick ask that more students and faculty partner with the community groups. Listings of events are announced on Jazz 88.1 and on the City College website.

Hambrick urges students to attend community and Planning Council meetings so that the policy makers get to hear the concerns of students and the community they are affecting.

For more information, contact Hambrick at (619)296-3311, ext. 26, or Dan Tomsky, (619) 296-3311 ext. 15, or visit the City College Web site at

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Better pedestrian safety is project’s goal