My inbox this morning was flooded with phenomenal questions from readers about graffiti, leash-free zones for dogs, parking permits, city employees and bad drivers. I’m working on it all, but we got some direction on bad drivers first.
Here’s the reader’s e-mail, lightly edited:
I live in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, which is straight up First Avenue towards Hillcrest. I walk most mornings for an hour. Many drivers are oblivious to or disdainful of pedestrians. This past year, city cops have been lurking at four way stops, ticketing drivers who roll through stop signs or fail to yield. From personal observation, I think it is having an impact, with increased safety for the neighborhood. Is there any statistical proof of this?
That’s a tough one to tackle. If you’re just looking at traffic collisions reported by San Diego Police, the number hasn’t changed that much in the past year (Sept. 2008-Aug. 2009). For statistical tracking purposes, the city uses the neighborhoods of Balboa Park and Park West to measure that area. Balboa Park had between three and nine reported collisions per month. Park West had between three and 12 each month. There doesn’t seem to be any consistent trend in either neighborhood.
Citywide, police reported about 700 traffic collisions in each of the months between September 2008 and September 2009. There doesn’t appear to be a significant trend in any particular direction.
I also contacted Monica Munoz, a media contact at the San Diego Police Department, to see if she had any information about the kind of traffic sweeps the reader describes. This is her e-mail response, lightly edited:
We do periodic enforcement of a variety of vehicle code sections, which include pedestrians not crossing legally, people driving without licenses, people driving without insurance, drivers who fail to stop at controlled intersections, speed enforcement and more.
The motorcycle officers do these enforcement details throughout the city, often based upon complaints they receive from residents. Sometimes the details are based upon their knowledge of specific traffic problems in certain areas. We don’t keep a tally of how many details we do per year.
We encourage anyone who has a traffic concern (within our jurisdiction) to notify the SDPD Traffic Division at (858) 495-7800 or via email at SDPDTraffic@pd.sandiego.gov.
If you have a concern regarding a particular type of traffic device you believe belongs in your neighborhood or on a particular street within our city you should contact the Transportation Engineering Division by following this link or by sending e-mail to this address email@example.com.
More posts from the People’s Reporter will be coming later today. Stay tuned and keep the questions coming. You can contact me by phone at 619.550.5668 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.