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Vallejo Pedestrian Safety Controversy

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December 09, 2017
Edward Smith

Vallejo Pedestrian Safety Controversy

I’m Ed Smith, a Vallejo pedestrian accident attorney. As a recent opinion column in The Vallejo Times-Herald pointed out, the city of Vallejo has an issue with lights. Residents believe that many areas of the city are unsafe for pedestrians because of dim lighting and think that the city may not be doing enough to fix the situation.

Participatory Budgeting

Earlier in 2017, residents of Vallejo were invited to take part in the city’s fourth participatory budgeting cycle. In 2012, Vallejo’s participatory budgeting program was established as the first city-wide PB process in the U.S. The program allows residents to directly engage with their local government agencies in order to develop ideas for and recommend projects to be included in the city’s annual budget.

Over the last three years (2014-2016), the City of Vallejo allocated more than 6.7 million dollars through this program in order to fund 25 separate community projects while engaging with more than 15,000 city residents.

In the 2017 cycle of PB, residents voted to recommend a project to the city council that involved adding brighter street lighting to dimly lit pedestrian areas. The lighting was meant to increase the safety of pedestrians by increasing visibility and therefore reducing the likelihood of injury-causing pedestrian/vehicle collisions, a serious problem in the city.

Ignored Recommendation

Although the city was recommended to spend 170,000 dollars on street lighting projects throughout the city, the city council has reportedly ignored this recommendation, opting to allocate the money to other programs.

This news has left more than a few citizens who voted for the project feeling left out and frustrated. One area resident noted that “the city council needs to always honor the wishes of the people.”

Further Frustrations

In addition to re-allocating the funds, the city has stopped powering a series of tree lights on Georgia Street. The lights were not paid for by the city, but by Vallejo residents through a series of fundraisers held downtown. In light of the light shut-off, members of the downtown committee have expressed doubt that city will maintain further citizen beautification and safety projects.

Lighting and Pedestrian Accidents

According to data gathered by UC Berkeley researchers, more pedestrian accidents have occurred in the daylight in Vallejo over the past 7 years (2010-2016) with a total of 158 daylight pedestrian collisions. However, the figure for nighttime accidents isn’t far behind and, because streets typically have more pedestrians during the day, the numbers suggest that lighting conditions play a serious role in accident frequency.

According to a paper published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), drivers’ ability to avoid accidents is impeded under conditions of dim lighting. The paper also notes that it is important to understand that the number of miles driven at night is substantially lower than in the day, while night-time auto accident fatalities make up more than half of traffic-related deaths in the U.S. This means that, per vehicle mile traveled, dim or dark lighting conditions have a much higher frequency of fatal accidents.

More Blogs by Vallejo Pedestrian Accident Attorney, Ed Smith

Vallejo Pedestrian Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Vallejo pedestrian accident attorney. If you’ve been harmed in a collision, call me at (707) 564-1900 for free and friendly advice. If you reside outside the area code, you can also use (800) 404-5400 or to reach me.

Since the year 1982, I’ve helped Vallejo area residents to obtain the money they deserve for their damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases.

My clientele’s reviews are on Yelp, the attorney rating service, Avvo, and Google.

I’m in the Million Dollar Forum, a trial lawyer’s group for U.S. attorneys who’ve won verdicts and/or reached settlements that were worth at least one million dollars.

See my Past Settlements and Verdicts here. is the premier website in Northern California for up-to-date news and accurate information about personal injuries and auto accidents.

picture: “street light” by Joydeep under CC BY-SA3.0

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