Connect with us

Community

Road Safety Initiative to Address Increased Traffic Fatalities

Published

on

San Antonio Police officers are now receiving additional training on Vision Zero and crash reporting during their daily roll call in an effort to combat San Antonio’s alarming increase in traffic fatalities. Additionally, officers are sharing educational material with roadway users, especially those who are making unsafe choices.

On average, 162 people are killed on San Antonio roadways annually while some 40,000 are killed in traffic crashes across the United States. In the first six months of this year, 85 people were killed on San Antonio roads. This is a 44 percent increase in roadway fatalities when compared to the same period of time last year. In 2016 there were 98 fatalities during the same time period.

“As police officers, we see the tragedies caused by poor driving decisions that are made on a daily basis,” said Chief William McManus, SAPD. “Last year alone, we saw 144 people lose their lives on San Antonio roadways. Being able to stop these incidents before they happen is a priority we take seriously. Partnering with Vision Zero on this campaign will educate our officers about best practices for reporting on crashes and provide the community compelling information that can lead to a safer San Antonio.”

During their daily roll call, SAPD officers will view a video narrated by Chief McManus. The video provides statistics and encourages officers to be thorough in providing greater detail in their crash reports.

“The more detail we have in those crash reports, especially the contributing factors, is vital,” said Art Reinhardt, who oversees the Vision Zero initiative for the City of San Antonio. “We can take this information and identify patterns, which can help us make changes to the roads to improve safety and reduce injuries and fatalities.”

Officers will also be handing out pamphlets, prepared by Vision Zero, to people they see demonstrating unsafe behavior. An electronic version of the pamphlet can be accessed at www.visionzerosa.com.

“We all make mistakes, but there are steps each and every one of us can take to make our streets safer,” said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. “Through SAPD’s partnership, this campaign will allow us direct access to having conversations with people who are exercising poor judgment on the road. We can educate and encourage them to make safer decisions—because we want people to know that their decisions really do make a difference.”

The ultimate goal is to make San Antonio streets safer for people walking, biking, and driving. In 2015, San Antonio adopted Vision Zero, a plan designed to eliminate traffic fatalities and enhance transportation safety amidst community growth. The new sub-initiative, launched today, combines education, encouragement and enforcement, three of five pillars that San Antonio focuses on to achieve Vision Zero. The other pillars are engineering and evaluation.

Key points Vision Zero SA is sharing through this campaign:

  • Distracted driving is deadly – distracted driving accounts for almost 45% of crashes in San Antonio
  • Speed kills – increased speed heightens the odds of serious injuries and fatalities
  • A list of the most common crash types and how to avoid them
  • Tips for sharing the road
  • The importance of heightened awareness at intersections
  • Safety pointers for people walking, biking and driving

Stay up-to-date on Vision Zero San Antonio:

  • here
  • VisionZeroSA.com
  • #VisionZeroSA
  • Twitter: @SanAntonioTCI
  • Facebook: San Antonio TCI
  • YouTube: San Antonio TCI/li>
Advertisements
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Community

Slipping Out of Darkness

Published

on

Now that we’ve thawed out a bit and temperatures have been warmer and closer to average, maybe we can return to some normalcy. However, around this time last week countless individuals and families had taken in the exquisite views of measurable snow in San Antonio, a rare scene for locals since 1985 and a very first for others. There were plenty of snowball fights, constructed snowmen and snowwomen that stood out in front of yards along with a great deal of makeshift snow-surfing festivities that took place; all were a nice little mental and physical break from the harsh realities of our “new norms” in the age of Covid-19. Unfortunately, little did San Antonians and Texans know that this excitement was just a little “calm before the storm,” and like the remnants of Covid-19, we’ll be paying the price for the pleasure.

Things quickly took a turn for the worse by the evening of February 14, 2021. With record breaking temperatures in the forecast and potential snowfall, many rushed out to local grocery stores in an effort to shop for essential food and water in the event roads and stores would be closed. Shoppers arrived at stores having to wait in long lines only to discover semi-bare shelves and slim pickings of items to purchase because many heeded protocols and prepared home-cooked meals and celebrated their first socially distanced Valentine’s Day at home with loved ones. Adding insult to injury, thousands of San Antonians began experiencing the bitterness of frigid nights and temperatures that led to incredible snowfall amounts. Then what started as rolling electricity blackouts (typical in summer months in Texas) to protect and conserve the entire Texas power grid abruptly became a little more permanent for millions of residents across the city and the state. And as if sitting in the dark for hours and then days was not enough, it immediately became clear that loss of electricity would cause a hurdling domino effect of catastrophic events. CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal electric utility company shutting off of electricity started to trouble the city’s water supply because pumps that assist with water pressure and flow were disabled causing businesses and residents to experience low water pressure, and in far too many cases residents experienced having no water at all.

The historic 2021 winter storm nicknamed “SnowVid” really made its presence known. Major roads and highways closed, school districts canceled classes for the week, Covid-19 vaccinations were brought to a halt, basic essentials like food and water were scarce, and people were basically trapped in their homes ingesting a great amount of uncertainty. And now that power and water have been restored, pocketbooks and bank accounts will take another hit as business owners and citizens repair busted pipes, service vehicles, replenish food pantries, and most likely bear the burden of higher utility bills, etc. in an already bleak future.

According to reports ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.) which operates Texas’s electrical grid and supplies power to more than 25 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load) says Texas was 4 minutes and 37 seconds from total blackout that could have lasted months. Undoubtedly, this storm will never be forgotten; the good, the bad and the ugly.  Kudos to all the essential workers who endured the storm to in an effort to keep us all safe, functional and informed.

Several resources are currently available to assist with recovery

The City of San Antonio, Bexar County and San Antonio Food Bank opened a total of 13 bottled water distribution sites that will remain open for two weeks. Residents will be able to pick up one case of bottled water per day per household. The sites will remain open through March 6.

Bottled Water Distribution Sites

  1. Wheatley Heights Sports Complex – 200 Noblewood Dr.
  2. Brooks – Challenger Dr. @ Research Place
  3. Texas A&M University – San Antonio – Main Campus – One University Way
  4. Port San Antonio – 907 Billy Mitchell Blvd
  5. SeaWorld San Antonio/Aquatica – 10500 Sea World Drive
  6. Six Flags Fiesta Texas – 17000 IH 10 West
  7. Food Bank – 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy  
  8. Our Lady of the Lake University — 411 SW 24th St
  9. Community Bible Church – 2477 N Loop 1604 E
  10. Heroes Stadium – 4799 Thousand Oaks Dr.
  11. Rolling Oaks Mall — 6909 N Loop 1604 E
  12. Bullis County Park – 27583 Old Blanco Rd
  13. Julius Matthey Middle School – 20350 Red Forest Ln

The locations were selected to be within the closest proximity to areas that are still facing water outages. 

The City will also provide bottled water delivery to homebound seniors, San Antonio Housing Authority properties without water, nursing homes, boarding homes, some dialysis facilities and residents with medical needs. These locations have been identified and coordinated with partner agencies. Delivery availability is limited but can be requested by calling 311.  

The sites will abide by COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. 

For more information or to receive the latest weather information from the city of San Antonio and Bexar County.

  1. Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
  2. Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
  3. Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  4. Bookmark www.sanantonio.gov
  5. Follow other partner agencies on social media:
    1. SAPD: https://twitter.com/SATXPolice
    2. SAFD: https://twitter.com/SATXFire
    3. Bexar County:  https://www.facebook.com/BexarCountyTX
    4. TxDOT San Antonio: https://twitter.com/TxDOTSanAntonio
    5. CPS Energy: https://twitter.com/cpsenergy
    6. SAWS: https://twitter.com/MySAWS
    7. VIA Metropolitan Transit: https://twitter.com/VIA_Transit
Advertisements
Continue Reading

Community

City of San Antonio creates text alert notification for COVID-19 vaccine availability

Published

on

Residents can text Vaccine to 55000 or Vacuna to 55000 to sign up for alerts

The City of San Antonio has partnered with some of the Bexar County vaccine distribution sites to create a vaccine availability text alert system to keep the community informed about the release of more COVID-19 vaccines. Residents who wish to receive updates about COVID-19 vaccination availability can now sign up to receive text notifications directly to their cell phone.  

As more providers and pharmacies are allocated vaccines from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the City wanted to create a tool that would alert the public when COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available. The City of San Antonio will collaborate with local vaccine sites that are open to the public and send a text notification to also reach those without internet access. Metro Health community health workers, partner agencies, and 311 will continue to sign up residents who do not have a cell phone or access to the internet.

Individuals who decide to opt-in, can text VACCINE to 55000 or in SpanishVACUNA to 55000 starting today. By signing up they will receive a text notifying them which locations have available appointments. Opting in to this text alert system will not sign you up for a vaccine or add you on to a wait list. This is an additional method to inform the community when new appointments are available.

In March 2020, the City of San Antonio had approximately 1,500 subscribers to its text message alert program. Throughout the pandemic, the service has been promoted through more avenues, including the Mayor’s nightly briefings. More than 40,000 subscribers now utilize the service to receive City news and information.

For more information please visit covid19.sanantonio.gov. 

FOUR WAYS TO SIGN UP FOR COVID-19 ALERTS

  1. Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
  2. Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
  3. Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  4. Bookmark covid19.sanantonio.gov

Public service announcements on social distancing, prevention and testing are available here.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Community

Frigid Temperatures

Published

on

SAN ANTONIO (February 12, 2021) — The City of San Antonio continues to monitor upcoming inclement winter weather conditions. City services will continue as normally scheduled, unless noted below. Residents are encouraged to report any service issues to 311 for support. The San Antonio Fire Department also provide winter weather safety information at this link. The public is encouraged to stay home, if possible. 

Public Works

  • The Public Works Department stands ready to support SAPD (the City’s Emergency Command Department) and TxDOT’s response to potentially severe winter weather conditions. Beginning Saturday, February 13, 2021, through Monday, February 15, 2021, Public Works will monitor conditions around the clock and place dozens of crews on standby. 
  • Based on the weather events, Public Works will be prepared to dispatch crews from service centers to spread a gravel, de-icing mixture on highway overpasses connected to City streets that are not maintained by TxDOT. 
  • Public Works will also have street sweeping crews on standby to remove accumulated de-icing material from roadways, once weather conditions have improved. Residents are urged to please contact 311 to report any concerns about fallen tree limbs or malfunctioning traffic signals.

Department of Human Services

  • Senior Centers: Curbside pickup and delivery of meals by the Department of Human Services is cancelled on Monday, February 15. Meal distribution will resume on Tuesday, February 16, at its regularly scheduled time.
  • Shelter for people experiencing homelessness: The Department of Human Services continues providing resource updates to homeless service providers and street outreach workers to encourage people experiencing unsheltered homelessness to access available shelter options. Haven for Hope is open to anyone seeking shelter from the cold.  All clients sleep indoors and are given blankets, food, snacks and cold weather clothing, including warm jackets.  Haven for Hope has expanded cold weather sleeping capacity for individuals to stay inside and warm the entire weekend. DHS and SAMMinistries teams have visited known homeless encampments this week to update people experiencing homelessness about the weather forecast and offer transportation to shelters and cold weather gear. The City of San Antonio also has hotel rooms on standby in the event that additional shelter space is needed. 
  • Emergency shelters: These locations will be practicing social distancing, requiring masks and limiting numbers 
    • CUB (Church Under the Bridge) 724 Chestnut, 78202 (near Nolan and HWY 281) – 5:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday night to hand out about 40 bed tickets. It’s first come first serve. Once they have a ticket, intake process will begin at 7pm. Dinner, breakfast and a movie will be provided. 
    • Life Restored Church: 400 Arbor Place will open Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday night for 20 people. People can start lining up at 5 p.m. to request a ticket for a bed and those intakes will begin at 6 p.m. They will also provide dinner, breakfast and a movie. 
    • Haven for Hope is open to ANYONE seeking shelter from the cold that will be willing to shelter in place and follow CDC guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing. All clients sleep indoors and are given cold-weather clothing, including warm jackets. They will open for this emergency weather process at 3pm (Friday February 12, 2021). This is not an official campus enrollment, so no clean urine analysis or ID are required. 
    • Salvation Army Dave Coy Men’s Shelter- 226 Nolan Street Nightly shelter enrollment begins at 3 p.m. daily through 8 p.m. meals provided too first come first serve. Individuals must be 18 years or older and provide a picture ID at the time of enrollment. New visitors will receive the first three nights for free and enrolled clients pay $12.50 per night
    • Corazon Ministries at Travis Park Church: 230 E. Travis 10-12 people starting February 11th thru possibly Tuesday or Wednesday or when below freezing stops. Showers will be available. They will check people in at 4pm. taking the first 12. Light breakfast each morning guests will leave the building and the space will be cleaned for the next evening. Their medical center is open on Sundays at 8am and Thursdays at 4:00pm. They will operate as normal. 
    • Last Chance Ministries404 Brady Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78207. They can take approximately 75 men and women (no children). Doors will open at 8 p.m. Point of contact is Pastor Janie (210) 873-0660 
    • Roy Maas Youth-3103 West Ave. Alternatives Centro Seguro Drop-in Center for youth ages 24 and younger remains open 24/7 
  • Warm supply resources and HUBs: 
    • Catholic Worker House is not opening for emergency shelter but will keep moving forward with their usual food distribution Monday through Friday. They are closed on the weekends. But they will serve lunch bags Friday morning along with breakfast and hot lunch Monday morning. 
    • CAM: 110 McCullough – food distribution on Friday and Saturday morning beginning at 7:30am. During distribution they will be handing out hand warmers, jackets, and blankets, socks, hats, gloves. Showers will be closed Saturday and Monday. CAM will hang signs on property for folks to know where to go. CAM will resume morning meal service Tuesday morning. Contact (210) 223-4099 www.cam-sa.org
    • San Fernando HUB: 319 W. Travis South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless (SARAH), in partnership with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, organized a collection drive for cold weather materials, including jackets, blankets, socks, and more. Items can be picked up at the San Fernando Homeless Resource Hub located at 319 W. Travis St. from Monday to Friday between 1 and 4 p.m. Meals are provided at this HUB as well. 
    • Outreach workers and nonprofits serving the homeless have been in the field and will be disseminating information and supplies. CAM will have signs on their fences laminated all weekend to guide people where they can go for help.

Metro Health

  • COVID-19 Vaccines: COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the Alamodome scheduled for Monday, February 15th  have been rescheduled to Friday, February 19th at the same appointment times. People seeking a warm place to stay should call 211.  
  • COVID-19 Testing: COVID-19 Testing Sites located at Cuellar and Ramirez Community Centers will be closed February 13th- 15th due to inclement weather. For the latest information visit the website.

Animal Care Services

  • The best way to protect pets during a winter storm is to bring them inside. Pets (especially cats) are safer indoors. If you are unable to have pets inside, consider purchasing an insulated doghouse or build a protective enclosure that shields your pet from the elements and gives them a safe, warm place to rest.
  • Although outdoor pets need proper shelter because it protects them from the elements, it’s also the law here in San Antonio and violators face zero tolerance during extreme weather events. Fines generally start at $300 per violation. 
  • Pets who stay outdoors without shelter may also seek warmth anywhere they can. To prevent a dog from escaping the yard, repair broken fencing and gates and fill in any holes along fence lines. 

Parks and Recreation Department:

  • The Drive-Thru Jammin’ Jams event has been rescheduled from February 13th to the 20th.

Information in American Sign Language is also available at http://sat.ahasalerts.com/Default.aspx

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Hot Topics