The council was set for a study session Tuesday, Nov. 20, on the topic, after the Voice's press deadline. It follows months of advocacy by bike advocates, school officials and neighborhood groups and a series of articles in the Voice.
Police and public works officials have recently started studying data on where such collisions occur and why.
"Now that we know where accidents happen we can start to figure out what we can do," said council member Laura Macias, who called for the discussion "to make sure the council continues to monitor what's going on with traffic management."
The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in City Hall at 500 Castro Street.
The council will hear a presentation on new efforts by police and public works to make the city's streets safer, including new signage and striping in front of Graham Middle School where several students recently were hit by cars. There's also a new team of police officers devoted to bike and pedestrian safety.
City officials indicated in a report that they are taking traffic safety seriously, noting major accidents that occurs this year, including three deadly collisions, on California Street and Shoreline Boulevard, where bike advocates say the speed limit is too high.
There's a chance of some larger projects to improve safety and encourage biking and walking the city's streets. City officials say in a report that a Pedestrian Master Plan is going to presented to the City Council in December which will include projects that could be funded in next year's capital improvement program budget. While details were not provided, residents have called for more crosswalks with flashing lights, "bike boulevards" like the ones in Palo Alto that discourage car traffic and "road diets," where dangerous streets are narrowed to slow traffic and create protected bike lanes.
"We really have to switch the way we think about getting around," Macias said, noting increases in bike and transit use.
Macias said she had attended a workshop recently conducted by a Long Beach city planner about how that community made its streets more bike friendly. It's a move that's supported by businesses there who give bicyclists discounts. Advocates say bicycle improvements increase business because cyclists are more likely to stop and spend their money.
She noted the use there of protected bike lanes created by moving parked cars away from the curb and sandwiching a bike lane in between. Such an improvement could be used on California Street, she said, one of the more dangerous streets for cyclists, according to police data.
"If you are biking and you are not a completely confident cyclist, like me, you don't have to worry about getting hit by a car because you have a parked car protecting you," Macias said.
Macias also noted that the city needs a new way of determining speed limits. The city follows state rules and that say when "80 percent of the traffic is going at this speed they have to keep them at this speed," and speed limits can be no lower. "That's really a car-centric model. We need a people-centric model, not a car centric model."
Macias said she hopes council members take note when they pick new goals in January. Council member Ronit Bryant has also expressed interest.
"I hope this goes somewhere," Macias said. "It seems necessary. We can't just keep on allowing drivers to keep on driving faster. There's lots of solutions."
For coverage of the meeting, which occurred after the Voice went to press on Tuesday, visit mv-voice.com.