It's funny to say that we're proud of 2020. After all, it was such a $h**show year between the pandemic and all the other general upheaval and confusion. I think 99% of the people on this planet agree that 2020 was one of the worst years in memory. It was hard on SAFE too. We had to learn how to be a leaner organization and figure out how to keep the lights on and the bills paid when all of our usual fundraising avenues were shut off. Just because the pandemic was raging and fewer cars were on the roads doesn't mean that traffic violence took the year off. In some places, it was the exact opposite. There were fewer collisions with fewer cars on the road, but in South L.A., there was a 25% spike in severe injuries and fatalities due to traffic violence. So SAFE's services were needed more than ever.
We're not happy about how difficult 2020 was, but we ARE proud of what SAFE accomplished in 2020, despite all the challenges.
Finish The Ride/Finish The Run Went Virtual
One of the most challenging aspects of 2020 was having to cancel our iconic Finish The Ride/Finish The Run Griffith Park event. Yes, it was the responsible thing to do, and we didn't have a choice, but it was still tough canceling the event that started it all. Instead, we decided to take the whole thing virtual and create our first Finish The Ride/Finish The Run Virtual Challenge.
Virtual events were a relatively new idea when we decided to go virtual, but it was a great success. Hundreds participated and LOVED the event. All told, participants walked, ran, bicycled, and skateboarded 21,787 miles. That's almost the circumference of the entire Earth!
Some of the amazing participants at our Finish The Ride/Finish The Run Virtual Challenge
Equitable and Safe Transportation During COVID-19
Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that EVERYTHING was changing, including how streets were used. Every day, instead of masses of cars driving by, there were individuals and family walking, scores of runners, and lots and lots of people on bicycles.
With the George Floyd protests across the U.S., our understanding of what it meant to have equitable transportation also changed. And SAFE changed.
Seeing how systemic racism affected communities of color, Streets Are For Everyone saw the need to speak up for those communities now using the streets during the pandemic. SAFE helped to lead a coalition of 45 non-profits, businesses, and civic leaders to make streets and transportation safer in the time of COVID.
We sent out letters of request for equitable and safe streets to 685 civic leaders across all 88 municipalities in the County of Los Angeles.
Further discussions and work was done with individuals in many cities, which resulted in points of the request being implemented across Los Angeles County. Some of the improvements requested included:
networks of "slow streets" for pedestrians and cyclists out on the road.
adding these "slow streets" on GPS mapping services like Google Maps.
enhancing cleaning of public transportation.
re-purposing of sidewalks and unused parking spaces for outdoor dining and retail space. This project took over 400 staff-hours of work but the results, visible across the County of Los Angeles, were worth it.
Streets, Art, SAFE Film Competition: DOING IT FOR THE KIDS!
The 5th Annual Streets, Art, SAFE High School Film Competition started with a bang -- 311 students from 16 various schools submitted 81 different film projects. It was shaping up to be our best year yet! However, as the realities of COVID-19 and the difficulties of virtual learning set in, our Streets, Art, SAFE Film Competition was greatly affected. As a result, many traffic safety PSAs just couldn't be completed without the students being at their school locations.
While most of the submissions wouldn't be completed, several students wanted to finish the year and be acknowledged for their work. We decided that THE SHOW MUST GO ON and continued the Streets, Art, SAFE Film Competition virtually FOR THE KIDS!! It was a new challenge, but the virtual awards ceremony was a blast, and the winning students well deserved their prizes! To view the Streets, Art, SAFE Virtual Awards Ceremony, click this link:
SAS 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony Video .
Fewer Collisions but More Fatalities
One of the disturbing things about 2020 (I know, I know, what wasn't disturbing about 2020) was the spike in serious injuries and fatalities resulting from traffic violence and the percentage of those collisions that are hit-and-runs, especially in South L.A. The numbers tell the story:
Total Collisions in Los Angeles: 41,654 (down by 26% compared to 2019)
Total Severe Injuries and Fatalities in South L.A.: 427 (up by 23% compared to 2019)
Percentage of Hit-and-Runs in Los Angeles: 46.8% (19,502 total, down by 29% compared to 2019)
Percentage of Hit-and-Runs in South L.A.: 53.9% (5,816 total, down by 6% compared to 2019)
On May 13th, SAFE, with the Los Angeles Police Department and other like-minded non-profit organizations' ( and Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition ) help, initiated a public awareness media campaign about the importance of slowing down and driving responsibly. Los Angeles Walks
Press Conference on May 13th
SAFE Chapters Spreading Across California
One of the things we are proudest about in 2020 is the start of several new SAFE chapters. SAFE South L.A. kicked things off with a bang this year. SAFE Ventura also began to form, and there's a new chapter starting to form in the Bay Area.
With the addition of SAFE Chapters, we can extend our reach while addressing issues on a more hyper-local basis.
Members of the SAFE South L.A. Chapter at a press conference
after a deadly hit-and-run in South L.A.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
One of the things that the newly formed SAFE South LA chapter wanted to do was highlight the most dangerous intersection in Los Angeles as part of . So, on Sunday, November 15th, 25 volunteers gathered with custom-made signs and traversed the most dangerous intersection in Los Angeles -- Slauson and Western. Additionally, two LAPD were involved for safety, and an additional LAPD Officer, Gerrald Chavarria, volunteered on his day off to take part. World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
A press conference was held at 12:30 PM with numerous speakers. 5 T.V. stations covered the news -- South L.A. Community Members Demand Safer Streets at Most Dangerous Intersection in Los Angeles .
An estimated 30,000 people viewed the demonstration in the 3 hours it took place. The press conference was covered by KCBS 2 News, KNBC 4 News, KTLA 5 News, KCAL 9 News, and Telemundo 52 News.
Reaching Tens of Millions in 2020
There's so much more SAFE accomplished in 2020, such as our new membership program, our new virtual store, the virtual Turkey Trot run, the school seminars, etc. Still, I would like to close with a snapshot of the numbers, the tens of millions of people that we reached in our efforts to save lives and make streets safer.
Statistics for the Year 2020
Total People Reached: 54,478,166
Total Social Media Reached: 2,245,004 (SAFE and FTR social media)
Total Website Reached: 125,603
Total Media Reached: 50,848,611 (through TV, radio, newspapers, and blogs)
Total Number of Media Pieces: 53
Total Reached at Events: 32,814 (FTR Virtual events, webinars, press conferences, school education events, etc.)
Total Number of Events: 13
So, yes, we are proud of what SAFE accomplished in 2020. We are proud and thankful to everyone who helped support us both in the past and during this challenging year, including our existing and forming chapters, our volunteers, and most importantly, we are thankful for all of YOU, our loyal supporters!
Executive Director and Founder
Streets Are For Everyone