Two Separate Recent Incidents Occurred Where Vehicles Collided With Cyclists at the Same Santa Monica Intersection
By Zach Armstrong
In light of two separate recent incidents where vehicles collided with cyclists at the same Santa Monica intersection, with the initial one resulting in a fatality, City Council has approved new safety measures meant to prevent future crashes.
On Nov. 10, a southbound cyclist on 19th Street reportedly survived minor injuries following a clash with a westbound car on Idaho Ave. A mere two weeks prior, on Oct. 27, a vehicle was traveling southbound on 19th Street while the cyclist, Tania Mooser, appeared to have been traveling westbound on Idaho, according to an SMPD spokesperson. The victim suffered significant bleeding and head trauma after the collision. A man on X (formerly Twitter) claimed that the victim was his friend and was taken off life support the morning of Oct. 28.
That intersection is regulated by stop signs for traffic on Idaho, but not on 19th. After OEM officials arrived on scene, the driver cooperated with investigators.
In a motion approved during City Council’s Nov. 14 meeting, put forward as requested by councilmembers Zwick and Torosis along with Mayor Gleam Davis, the City Manager is now directed to implement the following steps:
• Immediately initiate engineering analysis of outstanding community requests to upgrade intersections to all-way stops, with the intersections on Idaho Avenue to be prioritized.
• Develop and publish locally tailored City of Santa Monica guidelines for upgrading unsignalized intersections to all-way stop controlled intersections that further our City’s adopted goal of zero fatal and severe-injury crashes.
• Upgrade the portal through which residents can report a dangerous intersection, allowing for staff to determine a variety of possible safety interventions, including all-way stops, traffic circles, and diverters. In all such analyses, the determination that furthers our City’s adopted goal of zero fatal and severe-injury crashes shall be recommended whenever possible.
• Establish criteria for the use of “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” warning signs at two-way stop-controlled intersections that are not recommended for conversion, and develop an installation plan and timetable for such signage on intersections that meet the criteria.
• Establish a regular meeting series between the Santa Monica Police Department and Department of Transportation to review traffic safety enforcement priorities, including locations and violations of highest concern, and capacity for reallocation of enforcement resources to priority areas and violations.
• Refresh the City’s popular “Take the Friendly Road” roadway safety messaging campaign and initiate a new push of community messaging, including, but not limited to, bus ads, public service announcements, digital media efforts, and physical collateral.
• Develop and submit a proposal in the upcoming biennial CIP process that evaluates and proposes safety countermeasures including the creation of “daylighting” zones to address illegal parking that obstructs sightlines, with a focus on priority unsignalized intersections as identified in the 2022 Local Roadway Safety Plan.
• Identify shortfalls in resources, if any, required to implement these vital safety measures, and consider possible sources of funding needed beyond any CIP dollars requested per the above item, including, but not limited to, transportation impact fees, administrative fines for parking violations, the parking facilities tax, and any available grants.