SLO looking to improve traffic safety

Traffic collisions have reached an 11-year low in San Luis Obispo, but bicycle collisions continue to rise, according to the city’s recently released annual traffic safety report.

The City Council will discuss the report’s findings at 4 p.m. today.

Staff will make a dozen recommendations to improve traffic safety at the locations that record the highest collision rates, including the intersections of Johnson Avenue and Orcutt Road, and California Boulevard and Monterey Street.

In 2009, there were 682 collisions total — down 13 percent from 781 in 2008, the report said. Injury collisions decreased 1 percent from 237 in 2008 to 235 in 2009. There were no fatal collisions.

The highest number of collisions, 14, occurred at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Santa Rosa Street.

There were seven collisions at California Boulevard and Monterey Street. Los Osos Valley Road and Madonna Road had six, as did Broad Street and Orcutt Road.

Bicycle collisions increased by 22 percent, with 72 related collisions in 2009 compared with 59 in 2008.

The city’s public works and police departments are in the process of developing an enforcement strategy to reduce bicycle violations.

The city is also using a public education campaign to address the common bicycle and pedestrian collisions occurring in the city.

Staff will recommend various changes at the noted intersections, including improving the visibility of stop signs, increasing lighting at Johnson Avenue and Orcutt Road and installing additional bicycle lane markings on California Boulevard.