Pierce County Council announcement.
We are deeply saddened and mourn the loss of another member of our community following a collision with a vehicle. In this case, a 13-year-old child, Michael Weilert, of Parkland, Washington, was struck and killed by a vehicle crossing Pacific Avenue with his bicycle in a marked crosswalk. Every death on the road is tragic and unacceptable. We must do more to prevent such tragedies from happening again in the future by placing greater emphasis on driver training, traffic enforcement and infrastructure design and engineering approaches that take take better account of the safety of all users of the transport system.
Pacific Avenue is a state highway under the control of Washington State. As such, we are asking the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to conduct a safety analysis of the Pacific Avenue Corridor to identify opportunities to improve visibility and safety at railroad crossings. mid-block and other areas with high pedestrian and bicycle use. We also request that the WSDOT review the condition of the signs, signals, and pavement markings in the Pacific Avenue corridor to ensure that they are all in good condition. We also ask the WSDOT to consider opportunities to reduce speed and calm traffic in the urban portion of the corridor to better accommodate housing and commercial density, as well as pedestrian traffic volumes, bicycles and vehicles.
Active traffic enforcement is also essential to promote the safety of road users. Therefore, we call on the Washington State Patrol to increase traffic safety enforcement in the Pacific Avenue Corridor. We are also calling on the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department to resume their traffic safety unit with a focus on pedestrian and non-motor vehicle safety on county roads as soon as possible.
Finally, we need to do more at the policy level to improve the quality of life and safety of everyone who uses our roads to walk, cycle, ride, ride public transport and drive. As members of Pierce County Council, we are very committed to improving the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users and working to eliminate serious traffic related injuries and fatalities in our county. In pursuit of this goal, we intend to advance the development of targeted traffic safety policies at the county level modeled on Vision Zero efforts at the state level and in other jurisdictions. Advancing these policies will be a high priority in the months ahead.
Once again, we express our sincere condolences to the family of Michael Weilert and other families who lost loved ones in traffic collisions on the roads of Pierce County. We all need to work together to use our roads more safely, eliminate distracted driving, and keep every user safe through better road design and quieter streets.