A San Jose Community Driven Project to Improve Road Safety & Community Livability

Posted on 02/13/24

In 2022, there were 500 collisions, 350 minor injury collisions, and 65 traffic fatalities in the City of San Jose – a record. Of the fatalities, half were pedestrians and 60% were adults ages 50-plus.

A nearly 10-mile stretch of Monterey Road, from Keyes Street to Metcalf Road, has become so dangerous that it is locally known as “Blood Alley.” Between 2019 and March 2022, the City of San Jose tragically recorded 42 deaths and severe injuries on Monterey Road. In 2024, the first traffic fatality of the year was also recorded along Monterey Road. The road, with insufficient sidewalks and crossings at intersections, is notorious for excessive vehicle speeding, making it dangerous for pedestrians and bikers alike.

In 2023, the City of San Jose received a $2 million planning grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin the process of creating significant safety improvements along Monterey Road. To further complement the city and other stakeholders’ efforts, AARP California invited Greg Saville – an internationally renowned expert in building safer neighborhoods and crime prevention, and the founder of the SafeGrowth® model – to work with two groups of San Jose residents and AARP volunteers to develop community driven solutions that improve safety along Monterey Road.

Since October 2023, the two community groups have learned SafeGrowth® methods to strategically examine neighborhood and road safety. They have undertaken a detailed assessment of the recent traffic safety history and existing road conditions at two of the most accident prone and dangerous intersections on the road that has earned the dubious distinction of “Blood Alley” – (1) Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue and (2) Monterey Road and Branham Lane. With the groups’ findings – which is a culmination of countless volunteer hours of field visits, interviews with neighborhood residents and visitors, research, data analysis and thoughtful deliberation – they developed reports that encapsulate their experience and improvement recommendations.

On February 13, 2024, the two groups presented their reports to the surrounding Monterey Road community to collect feedback. The recommended improvements can be found in the reports below:

These reports will be shared with the City of San Jose and key stakeholders, as well as inform AARP California’s local advocacy efforts.
AARP is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving people who are 50 and older, with 3.2 million members in California and over 74,000 members in the City of San Jose. AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age. Participants in the SafeGrowth® project have gained invaluable knowledge, skills, insights, and tools to offer more informed and meaningful input during the public engagement process for Monterey Road and other community engagement processes. AARP hopes that the SafeGrowth® project will have a significant and lasting impact on making the community more livable for people of all ages. For more information on the AARP Monterey Road SafeGrowth® project, contact Ameen Khan, Associate State Director, San Jose at alkhan@aarp.org.

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