Statement on Last Week’s Tragedies on Broadway

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities extends its condolences to the family and friends of Michael Wray Robinson, who was killed by a driver while biking through the intersection of Broadway and Henderson Street last Friday, October 8, 2021. As members of the community in which he lived, we grieve Mr. Robinson’s death alongside those who knew him personally.

We also extend our wishes for a full and rapid recovery to the man who was struck by three drivers and critically injured while walking on Broadway on the same night. Our thoughts are with the victim and with his family and friends.

When tragedies like these occur, it is incumbent upon the community not just to publicly grieve our losses, although this is important, but also to take action to prevent future tragedies of the same kind. Appallingly, we have failed to take action many times before. Just in the last few years, we failed to take action when Oudom Douangdao, Robert Mitchell and Russell Busch were killed on Broadway in 2014. We failed when a 70-year-old man, whose name has not even been publicly reported, was killed in 2017. We failed when Raymond Severns was killed in 2018. We failed when Ashley Madonia and Zachary Herbert were killed in 2019. We failed when Kelsey Diffin, Matthew Sullivan and Thomas Burns were killed in 2020.

We cannot fail again.

Caltrans is responsible for building, repairing and maintaining Broadway. As transportation planning research makes clear, the built environment significantly influences the rate of pedestrian strikes, and changing it offers the clearest path for reducing similar tragedies in the future. Caltrans deserves credit for planning safety improvements to parts of Broadway, but the improvements are not comprehensive enough, nor are they coming fast enough.

The Coalition is currently collecting signatures on a petition asking Caltrans to make significant, evidence-based, near-term improvements to Broadway before more lives are lost. Members of the community can view and sign that petition here: We welcome everyone to join us in asking Caltrans to take action now.