File #: 2022-2643   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 12/7/2022
Title: Discuss Proposal for Rapid Response Program After Fatal Crashes. (Discussion)
Attachments: 1. 6C Exhibit 1 Rapid Response Draft Program Memo, 2. 6C Presentation



Discuss Proposal for Rapid Response Program After Fatal Crashes. (Discussion) 



Transportation Commission Special Meeting


Item 6C




In December 2021, the City Council adopted the Alameda Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2035. While most of the work needed to achieve this goal is pro-active and preventative, the City of Alameda (City) also needs a consistent, effective, and humane protocol for reacting to fatal and severe injury crashes after they occur.


Vision Zero Action Plan action 4.10 says the City should “Conduct a best practice scan for guidance on infrastructure rapid response programs that respond to fatal and severe injury crash locations with infrastructure recommendations, and create a program reflecting best practices.” To fulfill this requirement, in early 2022 the City employed a Master of Public Policy student to conduct this study as a thesis project. Exhibit 1 is a memo of the resulting analysis. 




This rapid response program proposal has following characteristics:

                     Transparent, consistent, and publicly accountable

                     Respond to fatalities: 1-4 annual activations

                     Pre-determined scope with quick-build toolkit

                     Initial estimate: $150,000/year for infrastructure design and construction

                     Quick implementation with on-call contracting


The proposal recommends responding only to fatal crashes in the initial pilot phase. This enables the City to start with a relatively small program to establish the quick-built toolkit and practice quick implementations of infrastructure improvements before expanding the program. Also, police crash reports can only include on-scene assessments based on visible or reported injuries; only EMS and trauma center data includes a clinical examination to assess injury level (see Exhibit 1, Table 3). 


The Vision Zero Advisory Committee discussed the rapid response program in August 2022. (This ad-hoc group includes community members as well as city and partner agency staff, and the Transportation Commission is represented by Vice Chair Tina Yuen.) All eight meeting attendees said that they supported the proposal as is or with minor changes. Several recommended expanding the program without overwhelming staff resources, and discussed including life-threatening crashes in addition to fatal ones. In response, City and Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) staff are currently exploring a data sharing agreement that would allow ACPHD epidemiologists to compare Alameda police crash reports with regional trauma data.


Financial Impact


The cost estimate for a program responding to fatal crashes is $150,000 per year for design and construction. Additional consultant funds will be needed to create the quick-build toolkit. Staff recommend further studying this cost estimate, and including the program in the Capital Improvement Program’s Street Safety category.


Municipal Code/Policy Document Cross Reference


This program implements the Vision Zero Action Plan (2021). The Vision Zero Action Plan was required by the Vision Zero policy (2019). Vision Zero is also supported in the Alameda General Plan (2021) and Transportation Choices Plan (2018).


Environmental Review


Approval to develop planning documents is statutorily exempt from further review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3), the general rule that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment.




Staff recommend that the Transportation Commission discuss and provide feedback on the proposed rapid response program after fatal crashes. The Transportation Commission’s final recommendation will happen in early 2023 as part of the 2023-2025 Capital Improvement Plan budget review.


Respectfully submitted by,


Lisa Foster

Senior Transportation Coordinator



1.                     Rapid Response Draft Program Memo

2.                     Presentation