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San Jose gets nearly $13M federal grant to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety

After several deaths and dozens of crashes, San Jose is making major changes at several of its most dangerous intersections.

Back in 2016, Gina LaBlanc’s son was killed by a speeding tow truck driver while walking along an intersection near Curtner and Canoas Gardens avenues in San Jose. 

“His dreams were destroyed and our lives were shattered all because of a preventable crash,” LaBlanc said. 

Since then, she’s been advocating to make improvements along the road. Wednesday was the first time she’d been back at that site in seven years, as the city laid out plans to change it. 

“Let me tell you,” she said, “it’s really hard to stand here, but I’m here for a really important reason.”

Thanks to a nearly $13 million federal grant awarded to San Jose Wednesday, the city plans to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety at its four most dangerous intersections. 

More than 100 crashes or collisions happened at those intersections from 2017-2021, with 10 resulting fatalities. 

The upgrades vary from better crosswalks and traffic signals, to adding protected sidewalks and bike lanes with more space between cars and people. 

“Over the long haul, this will save many lives, reduce accidents, make our streets safer for everyone,” said Mayor Matt mahan. 

“We’ve been trying to fix this intersection for years, but we didn’t have the money to do so,” said Councilwoman Pam Foley. “But now we can.”

San Jose isn’t the only city to receive funding for that purpose. 

San Francisco will also receive $8 million to improve pedestrian safety in the Tenderloin District, where pedestrians are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed by a car than elsewhere in the city.”

The changes have come too late for Gina and Steve Lablanc, but they hope it will be in time for someone else. 

“It is my sincere hope that, with these changes, it will give pedestrians and cyclists the ability to get where they need to go without losing their lives or becoming seriously injured,” LaBlanc said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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