‘Vision Zero’ campaign aims to eliminate pedestrian traffic deat - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

‘Vision Zero’ campaign aims to eliminate pedestrian traffic deaths

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Every day, one person is killed or seriously injured while driving, walking or bicycling in San Diego.

Now, a local non-profit is trying to prevent fatal pedestrian collisions like the one that killed Jaime Leonen last year in Kearny Mesa.

“Jaime was just this bright person and it's such a shame to see somebody like him go,” said his friend, Nicole Leon.

“It's a hurtful situation to be a part of because we were all close to him and miss him,” said co-worker Jose Miranda.

Leonen, 29, was struck and killed in September as he crossed Hospital Center Drive.

Drugs or alcohol were not involved in the collision and no criminal charges were filed against the driver.

Last year was the deadliest on record for people driving, walking or bicycling in San Diego, as the city saw a 17 percent increase in fatalities, according to the Circulate San Diego non-profit.

Some of the most dangerous corridors include University Ave, 5th Ave & Broadway downtown, and Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach.

Kathleen Ferrier is the Director of Advocacy with Circulate San Diego. The group is trying to eliminate traffic deaths entirely by the year 2025 as part of a new campaign called Vision Zero.

RELATED LINK: Vision Zero

“It's distracted drivers. It's distracted pedestrians. So, some of it's education and we want to see the city spend money on an education campaign that can make sure we're all acting safely on the road,” said Ferrier.

Circulate San Diego advocates for improved street design, more crosswalks, and more traffic lights to help drivers slow down on streets currently designed more for speed than safety.

The group also pushes for more bike lanes to protect people who pedal to work.

Along the road where Jaime Leonen was killed, the city has installed a series of no parking signs to help keep drivers from walking across the street.

Putting up new traffic signs a typical re-active approach the city takes after somebody gets killed. Supporters say a more proactive approach has worked in other cities.

“We need to see dollars behind the program and we are working now with the city and with a task force to get a strategy on how those tax dollars can be spent,” said Ferrier. While it may be too late to save Jamie Leonen, the effort could prevent other deaths in the future.

“Jaime was just a regular guy. He was just a normal person trying to cross the street and he was hit and killed,” said his friend Nicole Leon.

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