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Public Safety

City Heights Children Walk Some Dangerous Streets To Trick-Or-Treat

Tootie Thomas the executive Director of The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association showing an alter for the Dia de los Muertos.
Ebone Monet
Tootie Thomas the executive Director of The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association showing an alter for the Dia de los Muertos.

Halloween is about goblins, candy and treat-or-treating. Unfortunately, it really is scary when it comes to pedestrian accidents.

Maya Rosas is the director of policy for Circulate San Diego, which works with the city of San Diego through the Vision Zero Task Force. She says communities such as City Heights need more improvements to keep pedestrians safe. While she says the community has visible crosswalks, sidewalks and bike lanes it needs more, partially because more people in City Heights walk.

A Vision Zero traffic fatalities report found people in Downtown, Southeast San Diego and City Heights are more likely to be hit by a car than people walking in other San Diego communities.

“Pedestrians walking in low-income neighborhoods are 10 times more likely to be hit by a car than in other neighborhoods,” Rosas said.

VIDEO: City Heights Offers Alternatives To Trick-Or-Treating Amid Street Safety Concerns

She added that people in City Heights are at added risk of traffic collisions because three of the cities most dangerous corridors are located there — El Cajon Boulevard, University Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

“We know that in City Heights people are more likely to be hit by cars while walking that in other parts of the city,” Rosas said.

And what about Halloween? A recent Washington Post analysis of national highway safety numbers shows children are three times more likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other day.

The Vision Zero Task Force is a partnership with the aim to come up with strategies to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2025. Rosas said the organization is advocating for infrastructure improvements to help make San Diego safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

This holiday season, City Heights' Boulevard Business Improvement Agency (BIA) is highlighting a different fall tradition. The BIA is hosting 10 days of Dias De Los Muertos events (Oct. 22-Nov. 2) in City Heights.

Tootie Thomas is the Executive Director of the BIA. She said she was inspired by Sherman Heights' Dia de los Muertos events.

“It not about customs ... it’s a cultural thing of the painting of the skulls of the sweetness and bitterness of life and death,” Thomas said.

The festivities include traditional alter decorating, the making of sugar skulls and several other activities geared towards families. The final evening of events includes a screening of Disney Pixar's "Coco."

Still, Thomas says the BIA’s Day of the Dead festivities are in addition to not a replacement of Halloween.