Over the next two weeks, Banning invites the public to have their say on ways the city can reduce traffic incidents on its streets and thoroughfares.
According to the state’s Office of Highway Safety, there were 427 collisions around the town of Banning from 2017 to 2021.
Most of them involved vehicles hitting objects or hitting other vehicles from behind, although 50 involved head-on collisions.
During this period, there were 13 fatal accidents and 33 serious injury collisions.
Among them, 30 motorcycle collisions, 13% of which were fatal.
Seventy-three percent of drink-driving crashes occurred at night.
According to department statistics, the top five signalized intersections in Banning where accidents occurred were (starting with number one) Ramsey Street and Sunset Avenue; Highland Springs Avenue and Ramsey; Ramsey and 22nd Street; Ramsey and Eighth Street; and Highland Springs and Wilson Street/Eighth Street.
Several intersections that currently have no signals are being monitored for their higher rate of traffic incidents, including 16th Street and Ramsey; Ramsey and Roberge Avenue; Omar Street and Ramsey; Sunset and Wilson; and Apex Street and Ramsey.
A series of “road segments” are also being considered for safety improvements and suggestions, including Sunset from Ramsey to Gilman Street/Mesa Street, and Ramsey/Highland Springs to Mountain Avenue.
“near misses” – in which pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles have been known to swerve to avoid collisions, as these tend to go unreported and are therefore not reflected in data – and areas that may have a reputation for jaywalkers, increased vehicle speeds near parks and schools, illegal parking along red curbs or street features that may impede walking or cycling.
Between 2017 and 2021, there were 24 collisions involving pedestrians, and 25% of those victims succumbed to their injuries.
During this same five-year period, there were five incidents involving cyclists; while bicycles were involved in only 2% of traffic collisions, none were fatal, although 22% were considered to have resulted in “serious” injuries.
Deputy Director of Public Works Nate Smith chaired a traffic safety planning meeting at Banning Town Hall on Monday; two members of the public attended in person and a few others joined online, as did a few representatives from Carlsbad-based STC Traffic Inc..
Banning resident Chris McCallum attended the event to take advantage of City Hall’s free air conditioning and to learn about the traffic situation in his town.
“I’ve always been concerned about traffic and emergency vehicle access,” he told a reporter.
During the workshop, Smith, who identified himself as a limousine owner, said he had trouble with dangerous traffic along Westward Avenue and San Gorgonio Avenue, saying he felt drivers rarely stopped at the intersection. He also expressed concern that children in Lions Park were being exposed to dangerous drivers along Hargrave Street.
Stephen Manganiello, Director of STC Traffic, explained during the session that applications for the Road Safety Improvement Program round of funding for traffic improvement, which are administered by CalTrans, must be submitted within next two weeks in order to meet a deadline at the end of July.
A PDF survey can be downloaded from the Town of Banning website and printed, completed and then scanned to email to Ann Marie Loconte, Project Manager, email@example.com, or Project Engineer Ashley Adamos, firstname.lastname@example.org, or printed and dropped off at the Public Works Department at City Hall, 99 E. Ramsey St., by July 7.