PASADENA, Calif. — The city of Pasadena is gathering input from residents on a new pedestrian plan to make its streets safer.
Pasadena ranks third in the number of pedestrian deaths compared to similarly sized cities, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
What You Need To Know
- Pasadena is working on a pedestrian plan to improve its streets
- The city ranks third in the number of pedestrian deaths compared to similarly sized cities, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety
- Residents are helping identify dangerous streets and intersections that need improvement
- The city plans to have a final draft of the pedestrian plan by the end of December or early January
Phillip Tam’s son Aidan was 7 years old when a driver killed him while the family was in a crosswalk at the intersection of Hill Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
“If the driver of that truck had waited five seconds, our son would still be here today,” Tam said.
Cyclist and Pasadena resident Topher Mathers was hit at the same intersection as Aidan. He’s been hit twice while on his bike.
Mathers is a District 5 neighborhood representative for the Pasadena Pedestrian Plan and member of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition. He believes part of the danger is large intersections without crosswalks, like the corner of east Washington Boulevard and Hudson Avenue.
“We’ve had two pedestrians killed within a block of each other within a matter of months,” he said.
Mathers is now working with other residents in the Complete Streets Coalition to identify dangerous streets and intersections that need improvement. They are helping map hot spots around the city for the pedestrian plan and suggesting more inclusive roads with larger sidewalks, wider bike lanes and green spaces in between the street.
Mathers believes speed monitors aren’t enough, and that street design needs to move into the 21st century.
"The hard part is we’re kinda stuck with legacy infrastructure and an unwillingness to change," he said. "But we can and we could have a better life. Everyone could be safer. We just need to actually change the design of our streets and prioritize safety."
Tam has thought a lot about making the intersection where his son died safer. He believes a no-turn-on-red sign could have helped and also wants drivers to be more aware.
"If you don’t know if an intersection is clear, don’t enter the intersection and just be patient," Tam said. "Let people through."
The City of Pasadena plans to have a final draft of the pedestrian plan by the end of December or early January. Residents with ideas can attend a scheduled community meeting or contact leaders via the city website.
CORRECTION: Aidan Tam's name was spelled incorrectly in a previous version of this article. The article has since been updated. (July 7, 2021)