A Decade of Crashes Along Colorado Boulevard

Take Back The Boulevard – the initiative that has sparked my interest in studying the conditions along Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock – is an opportunity for us to improve our main street. One of the main components involves improving traffic safety, and some supporters of the initiative make the case for improving safety by comparing crash statistics on Colorado in Eagle Rock with neighboring Glendale and Pasadena.

However, Take Back The Boulevard really is an opportunity for us to improve traffic safety in Eagle Rock regardless of findings in neighboring cities. Though, if one really wants a quick comparison one can look to a map that shows every road fatality between 2001 and 2009 in the entire United States. This map includes road fatalities along Colorado as the street runs through Glendale, Eagle Rock and Pasadena. Not the most solid of data to draw conclusions but it indicates what many suspect– Eagle Rock’s portion of Colorado Boulevard has been deadlier than it is in our neighboring cities where the street is only two lanes in each direction according to nearly a decade of records. Eagle Rock’s bit of Colorado Boulevard saw more deaths than Pasadena’s portion despite spanning a short distance and at about the same distance as Glendale’s portion of the street yet with more deaths. While one cannot speculate too much, it would not seem far fetched if the increased number of deaths in Eagle Rock are partially the result of conditions which allow for greater speeds (higher speeds, not surprisingly, are more likely to result in death in the event of a crash).

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Preliminary Findings of Crashes Along Colorado Boulevard

(Note: the full, complete findings can be found in this post– A Decade of Crashes Along Colorado Boulevard )

The initiative Take Back The Boulevard, which seeks to calm traffic and produce a safe, pleasant atmosphere along Colorado Boulevard has received a bit of backlash in the local newspaper Boulevard Sentinel. While it would seem efforts to make a street safer and more pleasant is hardly something to oppose, there are concerns that the initiative may result in a ‘traffic nightmare’, be bad for local businesses, or even make the street less safe.

Much of this opposition relies on anecdotal observations and speculation about how traffic operates with few facts and little evidence. As a supporter of the efforts to calm traffic on Colorado Boulevard I want to make the case to support the initiative with real facts, evidence, and bringing to light the perspective of vulnerable street users (pedestrians, and cyclists).

One of the first places I’ve gone to for information is the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) where one can request crash information. The idea to calm traffic along Colorado Boulevard did not come out of nowhere, there are compelling reasons to do so and part of it is that Colorado is simply unsafe.

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