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2021: Time to get in gear (or get the gears turning)!

Published on Thursday, January 14, 2021

2021: Time to get in gear (or get the gears turning)!

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to get out more, go for a walk, or bike ride? We want to help you do it safely, and that’s our commitment to you.

We've got an upcoming Town Hall so you can learn and give input on our City's future pathways for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other modes of transportation. Join us January 28, 2021 at 4:30 PM. Click here to register!

As we launch 2021, Vision Zero SA finds itself looking forward to a year of opportunities in our efforts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities for our pedestrians and micromobility users.

Yes, 2020 was tough: Along with COVID-19, the stay-at-home orders and closed businesses in San Antonio, we did see significant drop in crashes and total serious injuries, but not fatalities. In fact, research shows emptier roads during what used to be rush hours allowed drivers to speed up, increasing the chances of serious injuries and deaths for those walking or biking or driving.

Our Vision Zero SA in-person outreach efforts – like yours – were hampered by the pandemic of 2020. We couldn’t get our Vision Zero SA team in front of business executives or students to talk about the dangers of distracted driving. So, instead, we improvised – and took to bike trails and parks to deliver our message.

I mentioned Vision Zero SA is looking forward to opportunities. We’ve got a great Director coming in for the City’s Transportation Department (where Vision Zero SA resides): Tomika Monterville brings enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge about how residents use transportation and how to build the network of infrastructure to fit our citizens’ needs.

We are also reaching out to school-age children by partnering with non-profits who can provide us access to students through their outreach and ministries.

The City has allocated a million dollars for us to help in our efforts to reach all our goals this year. We try to stretch that dollar amount to get as many projects constructed to help bring relief to roadway users on their way to school or work. Vision Zero SA has five projects in design right now on the city’s east, west and south sides of town along General McMullen, MLK Blvd, W.W. White, Pleasanton and Marbach roads.

We’re all about bringing educational programs to local businesses and schools virtually, too. Got a Zoom call and five minutes to spare? Invite us to your meeting: we may just offer some tips that can help save the lives of your co-workers or family members.

Remember, all of us are pedestrians at some point – whether walking in our neighborhood or getting out of a car in a grocery store parking lot. So, here are some resolutions it is never too late to make: As drivers, let’s commit this year to taking the cell phone and putting it in the glove box as we slow down to manageable speeds. As walkers, runners, or biking enthusiasts, let’s be sure to wear something reflective to give drivers something to look at.

Together, we can make 2021 a safer year for all.

Want to take a closer look?

Joe Conger is a Senior Public Information Officer for San Antonio's Public Works Department. He's inflating his bike tires and waiting for the shared use paths to be finished around Hwy 281 so he can catch a VIA bus to work via his bike.

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Author: Joe Conger (PWD)

Categories: Uncategorized, Blog

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