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Listen and Learn: A Tool for California Residents to Track Street Safety

8:10 AM PDT on July 17, 2019

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

Street Story, a web-based mapping tool developed by the University of California Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC), has been collecting data on street safety for about nine months now. Tomorrow, its developers will present a webinar to show how the tool works and how it can be used by community groups to gather and track data on things like collisions, near-misses, and safety hazards on California streets and roads.

The impetus behind developing the tool is two-fold: it gives community members a place to report problems, and allows researchers to collect data on places where problems are common.

Because near-misses may not result in a crash or injury, they are not officially recorded or tracked. But not only do people need to tell their stories about close calls and other hazards, even if just to let off steam, their experience can also offer valuable insight about problems on the road. Street Stories provides people an outlet, while also giving researchers a way to collect and analyze data about people's actual experiences as people walking, biking, and moving through the streets.

The information on Street Stories is readily available for anyone to add to or use. The tool's developers encourage community organizations and agencies to use it when they plan, for example for local needs assessments, transportation plans, and project proposals. SafeTREC provides workshops and assistance to groups wanting to incorporate the tool into their own outreach efforts.

Tomorrow's webinar, at 10 a.m., will introduce the tool to anyone who wants to know more about it. Another webinar, on August 7, will offer examples of how communities are using the tool, including advocacy organizations in Bakersfield and Humboldt County.

Register here for tomorrow's webinar.

Check the SafeTREC website for more information on Street Stories and to get information about the August 7 webinar.

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