East San Jose saw the most killed in traffic in 2021

Joe Herrera was waiting for his friend, Maria, to return from a 7-Eleven plane at the Tully and Center intersection last May. She never managed to come back.

Maria, an unruly person on Queen Avenue, was hit by a car that crossed the Center Road around 11pm last year. Herrera, another uninhabited person, said that by the time he found her, Maria was dead. He never learned her last name.

“It’s just awful,” Herrera told San Jose Spotlight, choking on the memory. “She was a good person. She did not deserve it.”

The streets of San Jose became increasingly dangerous, with road deaths reaching near-peak levels in 2021. This year on the way to defeating it – 24 people died as of March 31st. That’s three times the number this time last year.

And residents in the east and center of San Jose, including people who are not housed, feel most of the heat.

Joe Herrera with his dog. Herrera lost his girlfriend Maria last year after a car hit and killed her on Center Street. Photo by Tran Nguyen.

San Jose adopted the Vision Zero initiative in 2015 to analyze traffic data and develop safety plans after the city saw 60 people die from crashes that year. In 2018, the city identified 17 of its most dangerous corridors – 10 of which pass through the east and center of San Jose. Six embryos in District 7.

These corridors include White Road, McKee Road, Santa Clara Street / Alum Rock Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Capitol Expressway, Story Road, McLaughlin Avenue, King Road, First Street, Monterey Road, Center Road, Blossom Hill Road, Branham Lane, Almaden Expressway. , Saratoga Ave, Fruitdale Avenue and Hillsdale Avenue.

City data reviewed by the San Jose Spotlight shows that roads continue to be dangerous. They accounted for more than 70% of all traffic-related deaths last year. District 7 had the most casualties in 16 – along the way Monterey Road, Story Road, McLaughlin Avenue, Capitol Highway, Tully Road and Center Street.

City leaders attribute the deaths to the reopening of the economy after the plague and increased speed on busy streets – making up 30% of the dead. Officials are calling for investment in traffic enforcement with more cops and speed cameras. Others want to see infrastructure improvements with narrower roads, more bike paths and better street lighting.