Safety advocates say that pedestrians and cyclists in Ventura are at the highest risk of being involved in an accident when they are on Ventura Avenue, compared with other streets in the area.
A "walking audit" conducted by community members was a part of an effort by concerned safety advocates and the school district to make sure that kids and adults have safe walking routes to get to school and back each day. This means identifying areas where the traffic conditions are particularly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists as well as finding routes that are safe.
The audit was conducted by volunteers who combed the neighborhood and took photos and notes on potentially troublesome spots. The same process will be done one or two more times, according to the health and prevention programs coordinator for the school district.
During the first round of inspections, volunteers cited Ventura Avenue as having a variety of problems that pose a threat to pedestrian safety. One researcher said that unfortunately the problems on Ventura Avenue are common to lower income parts of the city.
When a pedestrian or a cyclist is injured at an intersection or on a part of the road that is known to be dangerous, there may be several parties that they can look to for help with medical expenses and other economic harm from the accident. In addition to the driver who will be responsible if they acted negligently or in violation of traffic laws, the city may also be responsible for failing to fix problems that were known to put pedestrians at risk. Previously documented accidents and high accident rates at a particular location may put the city on notice that additional signs, better lighting or other improvements are needed.
Source: Ventura County Star, "Audit of pedestrian, cyclist habits in west Ventura identifies trouble spots," Anne Kallas, April 25, 2013.
Information about the rights of pedestrian accident victims can be found on our website.