Berkeley police handled at least 13 crashes in March that resulted in injuries to pedestrians or cyclists, according to preliminary data obtained by Berkeleyside.
That includes nine injury crashes where drivers struck pedestrians and four involving cyclists. Berkeleyside put them on an interactive map.* Orange markers on the map above show pedestrian incidents. Blue markers show collisions involving cyclists. This month, Berkeleyside also mapped the nine vehicle crashes that resulted in injuries to motorists (purple markers) and will continue to do so.
The tally of crashes where pedestrians or cyclists were hurt has fallen for the second month, according to preliminary BPD data. In January, there were an estimated 30 injury crashes: 19 involved pedestrians and 11 involved cyclists. In February, there were 24: 14 with pedestrians and 10 with cyclists. The March numbers dropped for both of those groups.
The March statistics included three hit-and-run crashes where injuries were reported: to a pedestrian, a cyclist and another motorist. The cyclist sustained serious injuries at the time of the March 2 crash. Police say they have identified the driver in that incident and, this week, asked the public for help to find her. The cyclist died suddenly April 5; the coroner’s office listed the cause of death as acute myocardial infarction from coronary artery atherosclerosis. Police have not said the driver is to blame for the cyclist’s death.
Ten of the March crashes involving cyclists or pedestrians took place during daylight, while one took place shortly after sunset and two others happened at night. Daylight saving time began March 10, pushing sunrise an hour ahead that day to 7:30 a.m. and sunset to about 7:10 p.m. As the month has gone on, sunrise has gotten earlier while sunset has gotten later, resulting in longer days.
Click the markers in the map above to see very basic details about each incident. Circumstances of the crashes, and what may have caused them, are not part of the readily available data from BPD.
Seven collisions — which took place between March 17 and March 31 — are still pending review, according to the BPD data. Police also handled four DUI crashes, one of which caused bruising to a passenger in the car with a driver who was arrested. That incident is not listed on the map.
BPD said, in March, that it has two motorcycle officers and is working to train two more, among other steps it has taken to boost traffic enforcement. Overall collisions in 2018 were up over 2017, police told the City Council.
The number of pedestrian injuries in March of this year (nine) was down slightly from March 2018, when police handled 12. And there were four injury crashes involving cyclists in 2018, showing no change compared to this year.
A number of readers have pointed out that people walk and bike in Berkeley at much higher rates than in many other cities, meaning it’s actually safer to get around in Berkeley even if raw numbers for injury crashes may sometimes be higher than those elsewhere.
City staff have said 14% of Berkeley’s “street miles” account for 93% of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries.
The monthly BPD data does not include injury severity information but, in 2017, the most recent full year available, the bulk of injury collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists (53%) were in the least severe category, listed as “complaint of pain.” Another 40% resulted in “other visible” injuries, while the remaining 6% or so were listed as severe. Out of 259 collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists that year, three people were killed and 271 were injured in some way.
For those interested in traffic safety, the city’s Transportation Commission is slated to receive an update Thursday on Berkeley’s Vision Zero effort to end road fatalities and serious injuries. There will also be a discussion on county plans to improve efficiency and safety on San Pablo Avenue from Emeryville to Richmond. The final two pages of Thursday’s agenda packet feature a summary from March on the city’s progress with its bicycle plan.
Read more about traffic safety on Berkeleyside.
Want to dig deeper into traffic safety data? Check out these resources.
- The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (California Highway Patrol)
- A new interactive website called Street Story (UC Berkeley’s SafeTREC)
- Transportation Injury Mapping System (also SafeTREC)
* Please note: BPD said its list may be incomplete because not all the reports are done and because some of the incidents are tracked separately. Bicycle crashes could potentially involve fixed objects or the roadway rather than vehicles.