Complete Streets Safety Assessments

For California Communities

The primary objectives of Complete Streets Safety Assessments are:

  • To improve safety for all modes of travel in a city or county, with emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • To create safe, comfortable, accessible, and welcoming environments for all road users 
  • To enhance the walkability, bikeability, and economic vitality of local districts

To achieve these objectives, Tech Transfer provides free Complete Streets Safety Assessments to California local agencies.  We send expert evaluators to review traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety conditions, programs, and needs of your agency, and suggest new strategies to improve safety for all road users, with emphasis on pedestrians and bicyclists.  Tech Transfer provides highly-focused, in-depth, expert safety reviews of problem areas and specific suggestions for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. This free technical assistance service also helps local agencies identify potential sources of funding to make the suggested improvements, and justification to use in grant applications for state and federal funding.

Who can request a Complete Streets Safety Assessment?

California communities with populations over 25,000 with significant pedestrian and bicycle safety issues may request a Complete Streets Safety Assessment from Tech Transfer.  Priority is given to applicant agencies that appear in the highest collision rates (top ten lists) for OTS collision rankings.  California agencies can review their OTS collision ranking online.

How is the Complete Streets Safety Assessment conducted?

If a local agency is selected by Tech Transfer and approved by OTS for a CSSA, Tech Transfer will assign a team of two safety experts (evaluators) in the fields of traffic engineering, planning, or traffic enforcement, depending on the needs of the local agency, to conduct the study for the community.

The evaluators will begin with a thorough phone interview of local agency staff and then schedule a one-day visit to the city or county to observe pedestrian and bicycle traffic conditions in the field. As part of the assessment, the evaluators will review the community's pedestrian/bicycle safety programs, with a view to increase the overall effectiveness of the programs.  They will also review available safety data such as Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS) and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) ranking. Based on the available collision data and discussions with city and county staff, a list of intersections and roadway segments with the highest rates of pedestrian and bicycle collisions is proposed for the evaluation.   The evaluators will then visit the city or county for one day to conduct an evaluation using the comprehensive “A Technical Guide for Conducting Pedestrian Safety Assessments for California Communities” and “A Technical Guide for Conducting Bicycle Safety Assessments for California Communities.” to help the community achieve their objectives listed above. The site visit is conducted at various locations, as determined in coordination with city or county staff. The observations made during the field audit are used to suggest policies and physical improvements that could enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety and accessibility, and in some instances, economic vitality, and then suggest new strategies to improve safety for all modes of transportation in the community. 

After completing the one-day visit, the two evaluators prepare a report summarizing their findings and suggestions. This report presents the findings and suggestions for improvements derived from:

  • Benchmarking analysis of the community's existing pedestrian and bicycle programs, policies, and practices, which aims to provide the community with information on current best practices and how the city or county compares
  • Field walking and biking audits at various locations in the city or county
  • Discussions with and data provided by the local enforcement regarding their practices for pedestrian and bicycle safety

Many suggestions in the CSSA report may be appropriate for grant applications, including OTS grant or Safe-Routes-to-School funding. The suggestions for improvement may also be used as the starting point for a Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan, a document that would set forth pedestrian/bicycle and streetscape policies for the community and identify and prioritize capital improvement projects.

How can I request a Complete Streets Safety Assessment?

To learn more about Complete Streets Safety Assessments and to request one for your community, email safety@techtransfer.berkeley.edu. A limited number of assessments are available each fiscal year, so send in your request early.

What kinds of safety issues can the assessment address?

The Complete Streets Safety Assessments may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • School traffic safety, Safe-Routes-to-School program and grant funding
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety education programs
  • Inventory of sidewalks, informal pathways, and key pedestrian and bicycle opportunity areas
  • Adoption of open space requirements
  • Walking and biking audits
  • Pedestrian and bicycle-oriented traffic signal and stop sign warrants
  • Proper use of pedestrian and bicycle traffic control devices, and need for additional devices (signs, markings, striping and signals)
  • Adoption of bicycle parking requirements
  • Pedestrian and bicycle-oriented speed limits and speed surveys
  • Adoption of street tree requirements
  • Coordination with health agencies
  • Implementation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements
  • Crosswalk installation, removal, and enhancement policy
  • Preparation of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan
  • Crossing barriers
  • Collection of pedestrian and bicycle volumes
  • Traffic calming programs
  • High-collision intersections
  • Inadequate sight-distance
  • Speeding
  • Red-light running
  • Roadway channelization and road diet
  • Traffic circulation
  • Signal timing
  • Pedestrian and bicycle access management
  • Traffic record keeping
  • Enforcement goals, capabilities, and improvements
  • Local enforcement resources, and deployment
  • Police personnel training
  • Hit-and-run collisions
  • Traffic record systems
  • Collision history and collision reporting practices
  • Reporting of collision factors
  • Public relations and outreach efforts
  • Enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle right-of-way laws and speed limits

Who performs the Complete Streets Safety Assessments?

Each evaluation is conducted by a team of two experts in traffic engineering, planning, or traffic enforcement, which are selected based on the needs of the local agency.  Our team of expert evaluators includes:

Joy Bhattacharya, PE, PTOE, is a Principal at Stantec with expertise in municipal traffic engineering, freeway operations, arterial system planning, circulation studies, traffic impact studies, traffic operations and simulation, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Systems Integration, general/specific plans, parking studies, corridor studies, expert witness testimony, transportation planning for major developments, geometric design, safety studies, and oversight of traffic signal system projects. Mr. Bhattacharya is a Traffic Engineer as well as a Transportation Planner having led the engineering design, assessment, and permitting documentation for a wide variety of projects. With his ability to lead the design and traffic study development and to author CEQA and NEPA documents, he ensures that the technical requirements of design are reflected in the permitting and impact assessment documentation.

Terry Cates is an experienced law enforcement leader with over 30 years of progressively responsible experience including all aspects of traffic safety. He retired in good standing as a Division Commander from the Vacaville Police Department. He worked a variety of assignments including, Defensive/Pursuit Driving Instructor, Motor Officer, Motor Instructor, Motor Sergeant, and was the Division Commander of the Traffic Section when he retired. Terry has investigated and supervised many investigations including collisions involving multiple fatalities. He has written and managed traffic safety grants in excess of 1.3 million dollars which were awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety. As the Motor Sergeant he supervised over 60 DUI checkpoints. He was a member of the Solano County Safe Routes to School Program. Terry received several awards from the California Office of Traffic Safety for his traffic safety efforts. He currently sits on a State Highway Steering Committee for Motorcycle Safety.

Thomas Clausen, PE, is a registered civil engineer and traffic engineer in California. He has over 35 years of experience. Mr. Clausen has worked at the senior level in several Bay Area cities, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans, and two consulting firms (Fehr & Peers and TJKM). His areas of expertise include traffic operations, signing and striping, traffic impact studies, traffic safety, and congestion management. Mr. Clausen is an ITE Fellow and past International Director representing the Western District. He is a member of ASCE. He holds a Master of Engineering Science from UC-Berkeley and a Master of Public Administration from CalState Eastbay. He has been an UC Extension instructor for over 10 years and has completed traffic safety assessments beginning in 2012.

Crystal Killian, PE, has more than 25 years with the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation.  She has directed transportation studies involving parking, special events, emergency management, risk management, traffic calming, traffic operations, school safety, and pedestrian safety. She has also many years of project development, grant preparation and management.   She has many years of working with diverse community groups to address their safety concerns.  She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration.  She is a Professional Civil Engineer and Traffic Engineer.

Nazir Lalani, PE, is the President of Traffex Engineers, Inc., a transportation consulting firm that provides consulting services to local agencies ranging from the complete responsibilities of traffic engineering functions to specialized operations such as synchronized signal systems and studies designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Nazir is currently the Contract City Traffic Engineer for the City of La Quinta in Southern California. In 2009, Nazir completed ten years of service with the County of Ventura, where he was the Deputy Director of the Transportation Department in charge of the Traffic and Transportation Division in the Transportation Department of the Ventura County Public Works Agency. Nazir has also held local government positions with the City of Ventura, Santa Barbara County, the City of Lakewood, Colorado, the City of Phoenix, Arizona, and the Greater London Council in England.

Dennis Smith is a retired police sergeant who served the City of Glendale Police Department for more than three decades. While serving as a Police Motor Sergeant he supervised numerous investigations involving traffic fatalities and/or serious injuries. He also planned and supervised many sobriety checkpoints and enforcement operations. Mr. Smith managed the department’s red-light camera program. As a member of the Safe-Routes-To-Schools committee he collaborated with the Glendale Unified School District and helped to identify schools in need of infrastructure and traffic safety improvements. Mr. Smith authored numerous traffic safety grants that were submitted to the California Office of Traffic Safety, resulting in awarded grants that exceeded one million dollars.

John Turner retired from the Ventura Police Department as a Sergeant with 30 years of service. He supervised motor officers and the collision investigation units for 22 years. He was the designated expert for the city attorney on collision related claims and he served on the city's Traffic Safety Board and Collision Review Committee. He has extensive experience in traffic enforcement, collision investigation, and innovative traffic safety programs. He has worked as a police officer in Santa Barbara, as a collision reconstructionist, and had testified as an expert in Vehicle Code application in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, including in front of Senate Committees. He has won numerous awards for police work since 1984. He was the Principal at his own company, Turner Accident Reconstruction, and currently is a National Account Director for Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.  He has published and owns several intellectual patents.