Traffic Engineering Safety

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Addressing Traffic Safety in Pasadena

Public Safety Committee Presentation – May 17, 2017

The City of Pasadena developed a Local Roadway Safety Plan (LRSP) to identify and address traffic safety concerns for all road users. The goal of the LRSP is to achieve zero fatalities by emphasizing pedestrian and bicycle safety, vehicle speed, sight distance, and signalized intersections. A systemic safety analysis was conducted that focused on collision trends and patterns with an emphasis on fatal and severe collisions. Safety recommendations include enhancement of roadway features, traffic calming, educational campaigns for pedestrians and motorists, and additional police enforcement.

Local Roadway Safety Plan

Pedestrians and bicyclists make up a growing share of traffic crash deaths across the country. Many of these deaths are preventable. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), a federally supported pedestrian and bicycle safety research group, created the following educational video to help educate all road users about common crash types involving pedestrians and bicyclists and how we can avoid them.

Safe Routes to School is a concept is to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects that remove the barriers that currently prevent them from doing so. Those barriers include lack of infrastructure, unsafe infrastructure, lack of programs that promote walking and bicycling through education/encouragement programs for children, parents, and the community. Most SRTS projects are funded through state and/or federal grants. The City has utilized grants in the past to fund infrastructure projects as well as educational campaigns to encourage walking and biking to school. The City actively seeks grants to promote SRTS projects.

Suggested Routes to School – PDF

Crossing Guards

The City of Pasadena Crossing Guard Program is managed by the City’s Human Services Department. The role of the Department is to analyze locations where a crossing guard is requested. The City of Pasadena uses the Crossing Guard warrant found in Part 7, Chapter 7D, of the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a tool to assist in determining is a crossing guard is warranted.

Pedestrian Responsibility

Pedestrians should always follow the safe crossing procedures when crossing the street. If a crossing guard is provided, you should wait for direction from the crossing guard when crossing in these areas.

Flashing Beacons/In-Roadway Lighted Crosswalks

Pedestrians should still use extreme care when crossing the street where flashing beacons are in place. The City has placed them at intersections that meet federal requirements for their installation. In most cases, pedestrian visibility was very difficult and the number of persons crossing the street was very high prior to the installation of the flashing lights. Drivers entering the area where a flashing beacon has been installed should proceed with extreme care, particularly looking for young people and persons traveling in wheelchairs.

Walking is great exercise, and in Pasadena and there are many beautiful historic landmarks that can be seen along your journey. Through a complete streets approach to planning, design and operations, the City of Pasadena Department of Transportation is committed to maintaining a livable community in which cars are not necessary to travel within the City. A major component of this commitment is promoting walking and enhancing pedestrian safety through engineering and education.

The following timeline provides information on Pedestrian Safety Projects that have been conducted in Pasadena over the past decade. Many of the items include links to the reports or campaign material that resulted from studies or outreach efforts.


Suggested Routes to School

The Suggested Routes to School Program was initiated in 2005 to develop Suggested Routes to School Maps for the 18 elementary and middle schools in the Pasadena Unified School District. The maps were developed through meetings with all of the schools and surveys distributed to the students requesting information on their walking/bicycling routes to school. As a result of this program, physical improvements on the suggested routes were identified. Funding for these physical improvements was obtained through the Safe Routes to School Program and many of the recommended improvements have been implemented. These improvements include the installation of in-roadway flashing lights at crosswalks, the addition of pedestrian bulb-outs at intersections, the installation of curb ramps and sidewalk improvements at numerous locations and the upgrade of school signage at various locations.

Pasadena Suggested Routes to School Program – PDF

Safe Strides and Rides, Phase 1

The Safe Strides and Rides Program, Phase I, incorporated bicycle and pedestrian safety education through bicycle rodeos, helmet giveaways, and the development of a pedestrian safety video, as well as engineering treatments through the purchase of in-roadway lights for two crosswalks. The program was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2005-2006. The pedestrian safety video developed as part of this project was distributed to high schools and middle schools in Pasadena.


Pasadena Pedestrian Plan

The Pedestrian Plan provides guidance to preserve the walkability of pedestrian areas, to better design and develop pedestrian-friendly projects, to better integrate pedestrian improvements into street maintenance and traffic management programs, and to implement public education and enforcement programs that improve pedestrian safety and increase levels of walking.

Visit Complete Streets to learn more about the Pedestrian Plan.


Pedestrian Safety Brochure

In 2007 the City developed a crosswalk safety brochure for pedestrians, which provides safety tips for pedestrians. The brochure discusses general pedestrian safety as well as specific crosswalks treatments in the City of Pasadena, such as the scramble phase diagonal crosswalks and in-roadway flashing lights.

Pedestrian Safety Brochure – PDF


Safe Strides and Rides, Phase II

The Safe Stride and Rides Program, Phase II, provided for bicycle rodeos and helmet distribution and the development of a pedestrian safety campaign targeted for a high use pedestrian and bicyclist recreational facility, the Rose Bowl Recreational Loop. This program was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007-2008. This program also provided for increased enforcement of red light running, aggressive driving and speeding in areas with high pedestrian activity. The program included an update to the City’s collision database software which allows city staff to further analyze collision locations based on specific characteristics, such as roadway type or intersection control type. It was this revision to the software that led the City to a better understanding of the high incidence of pedestrian related collisions at signalized intersections.


Pedestrian Safety at Signalized Intersections Project

This project included both a safety study and an outreach component. The safety study conducted through this project identified key engineering treatments to be implemented at high collision locations. The safety study and toolbox developed through this project are actively being used by the City to improve pedestrian safety at signalized intersections.

Pasadena Pedestrian Safety Report – PDF

The grant also provided funding for the “Stop B4 the Line” campaign targeted at motorists to be more aware of pedestrians at signalized intersections. The campaign was well accepted in Pasadena with the City procuring billboard space for the campaign, putting campaign ads on City bus backs and at bus shelters throughout the City. The material was also widely distributed at other events such as Walk to School Week. This program was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


HSIP Funded Infrastucture Improvements

Based on the safety recommendations identified in the Pedestrian Safety at Signalized Intersections Project, the City was successful in obtaining Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Grant funding for the design and construction of safety enhancements at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue, and at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Mountain Street. The enhancements include the construction of bulb-outs at the intersections to provide greater pedestrian visibility and a larger waiting area for pedestrians.

Before HSIP Funded Infrastructure Improvements
After HSIP Funded Infrastructure Improvements


Safe Routes to School Education and Outreach

In 2012, the City was awarded Safe Routes to School funding for the development of a school area safety campaign and enforcement of speeding in school zones. The “We Make Time” campaign was developed and implemented in 2014, and allowed for direct outreach to over 500 students though assembly and classroom outreach at seven elementary schools in Pasadena.


Traffic Safety Assessment

In 2014, the City participated in “An Enforcement and Engineering Analysis of Traffic Safety Programs” with experts from the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies, to evaluate our current practices and conduct a field review of five high collision locations. This Traffic Safety Assessment included a review of both our Police Department and our Transportation Department practices and procedures, which received high marks. In addition, the multidisciplinary field review of five high collision locations identified potential safety enhancements to those intersections. Funding for potential safety enhancement for the five intersections is being actively pursued.


California Walks Workshop

The City recently completed a walking study with California Walks to identify potential pedestrian safety enhancements. Unlike the previous safety evaluation efforts conducted through the University of California Traffic Safety Assessment, this effort included community outreach and participation. During a community workshop, five routes were identified and walking tours were conducted with members of law enforcement, traffic engineering staff, city representatives and community members to identify potential pedestrian safety enhancements.

Designated bike lanes and Roseways can be found on many Pasadena streets. However, before you take to the streets, the the City of Pasadena encourages you to learn about safety.
Connect with Bike Safe Pasadena

Traffic Circle Information

The City of Pasadena’s Department of Transportation and the Police Department installed Traffic Circles as a form of traffic control and operation at the following intersections:

  • Glenarm Street at Los Robles Avenue
  • Glenarm Street at El Molino Avenue

As part of the City’s public education program, the following information is provided regarding the right-of-way and appropriate use of the traffic circles by motorists approaching each intersection:

  • All intersections in the City of Pasadena currently controlled by a traffic circle, are STOP controlled. All motorists must stop as mandated by the State of California Vehicle Code Section 22450, pertaining to STOP REQUIREMENTS, before entering the intersection.
  • Circulation in traffic circles shall be counter-clockwise. Drivers must stay to the right to complete all turning movements. As an example, to turn “left”, drivers must first signal their intentions, stop and yield to all vehicles already in the intersection, then proceed to the right around the circle until they reach the point to exit the circle and complete their “left turn”.
  • All other traffic rules of the road still apply at these intersections.