The City Hall announced Wednesday its involvement in Watch the Road.

More than 30 organizations and 15 other cities in Southern California will unite for the regional campaign, which will coordinate didactic materials with enforcement efforts to improve motorist, cyclist and pedestrian behavior.

Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers might have seen the Watch the Road signs on buses and garbage trucks around town — the message reads, “Disconnect. Stay alert, stay alive.”

The purpose of the message is two-fold: It is imperative for walkers to pay attention when crossing the street, but it is also important for cyclists and drivers to be wary of pedestrians while driving ¬óespecially through intersections and crosswalks.

“The police department is stepping up enforcement around crosswalks, and we’re working with staff in Planning, Public Works and the City Manager’s Office to get motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to slow down, pay attention and be safe,” Santa Monica Police Department Capt. Carolin Larson said in a statement.

For 2012-14, the city is introducing a new capital improvement program, which will include $1 million for renovating crosswalks to make Santa Monica more pedestrian-friendly. City officials will also start a Pedestrian Action Plan to improve the city’s safety record and walking network.

The SMPD is starting to combat some of the unsafe behaviors by buckling down on enforcement. Over the past few months specifically, the SMPD has focused on motorists who speed, commit seat belt violations and fail to yield for walkers; and on cyclists who ride on the sidewalk, go against the flow of traffic and other dangerous infractions.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *