Tucson sets out to create Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

In mid-August, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) held a three-day workshop to develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) for Tucson. The FHWA has designated Tucson a Pedestrian (and Bicyclist) Safety Focus City because so many people have died or have been seriously injured while walking on our streets. “Focus cities” receive extra resources to help improve safety – and one of these resources is the PSAP workshop. Numerous LSA staff attended and were encouraged by the process.

PSAPOn the first day, close to 100 people – community members, city planners, federal administrators, educators, law enforcement, and elected officials – gathered to hear Mayor Jonathon Rothschild give the opening remarks and hear how the plan will help our City. The packed conference room and eager questions from attendees made it clear that an aggressive effort needs to be made to improve roadway safety for everyone.

The next two days involved hashing out the details of the 100+ page PSAP with 24 people from different agencies and organizations. Two federal highway consultants, Peter Lagerwey and Peter Eun, led the conversation and mediated the needs of the different stakeholders in the room. Lagerwey stressed that a successful plan requires a multifaceted approach – well-designed streets, speed management techniques, targeted education and enforcement.

At the end of the three days, we had a rough draft of the plan and a strong commitment to making our streets safer, more accessible, and more connected to help people get where they need to go. The expectation is that when this plan is complete and adopted by City Council, it will serve as a guiding document for city planners, law enforcement officers and local decision makers. We commend the leaders in our City who are making this a priority, and Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator, Ann Chanecka, who declared, “zero fatalities” as the goal for Tucson’s streets.

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