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Salinas City Council addresses pedestrian and bicyclist safety concerns in the town hall

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Over the past few months, Salinas streets have become dangerous to cross for both pedestrians and bicyclists. On Wednesday, two city council members held a Pedestrian and Bicycle Town Hall to address safety concerns, and brief the public on important safety measures to protect those who walk and ride around the city. 

“There is no doubt that Salinas has a reputation that’s not very good for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Steve McShane, Salinas Councilmember, District 3.

The goal of Wednesday’s night town hall was to discuss safety concerns and how to prevent bicyclist and pedestrian deaths and injuries in Salinas. 

“In the last month we saw very bad and worrisome pedestrian deaths right off of laurel and this meeting was a response to that,” McShane.

This meeting follows a series of accidents reported in the city involving several pedestrians and bicyclists.

Salinas PD reports multiple pedestrians were run over

A 13-year-old and a 60-year-old were run over in two separate incidents earlier this month. Just last week someone was hit by a car on Laurel Drive.

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Salinas on Laurel Drive

Councilmember Steve McShane mentioned this meeting was a long time coming. One-third of bicyclist and pedestrian deaths are DUI-related. Other major concerns, speed...

“There was a car, that hit a parked car hard enough to move that parked car and landed near a house's driveway from where it was parked," Kendra Howell, Sr. Policy Lead Blue Zones Project Monterey County.  

...and lack of respect when it came to sharing the roads with cyclists and walkers. 

“I ride my bike every single day. And at least once a week, I’m harassed by motorists," said one community member attending the meeting.

Collision data was also shared, showing the majority of incidents occur on major arterial roads, such as E. Market, Alisal, and N. Main Street. This data in return helps planners better understand where the problem areas are, and prioritize projects around Salinas.

"There’s a lot of infrastructures are there to help pedestrians but we’re also looking into the future as to where we need to make our next investment,” Andrew Easterling, Traffic Engineer City of Salinas.

Salinas Police Chief Filice committed to more staffing and stake-outs when it comes to enforcement. City leaders will be looking for ways to get the community to pay more attention to those on the roads and sidewalks so people can get to and from where they need, safely. 

The city wants to hear from you. If you feel like your street or neighborhood needs to be safer, you're encouraged to write in your concerns, you can do so by using the mobile app, Salinas Connect.

Read more: Salinas Police Department host town hall over pedestrian and bicycle safety after several incident reports

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.


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