SANTA BARBARA – A new federal report reveals traffic related deaths are down nationwide, but up in California.California’s pedestrian death rate is up 3% in the last year. Cyclist fatalities are up almost 9%. According to the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, Santa Barbara County has the third worst death rate of pedestrians and cyclists. Ed France with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition says “we’ve seen a near doubling of bicyclists in Santa Barbara and through the county in the last 10 years. The fact that there’s been an increase makes sense.”In October, a 41-year-old woman was killed biking on Milpas Street. Now, part of Milpas Street has pedestrian light flashers and a refuge island. The bicycle coalition says safety improvements, training for bicyclists and awareness from motorists will reduce traffic fatalities.
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