ALAMEDA -- A woman trying to cross four lanes of traffic on a major thoroughfare Wednesday morning was struck and killed by a minivan, police said.

The incident happened at 4:52 a.m. in the 2200 block of Otis Drive near Alameda South Shore Center, police Lt. Jill Ottaviano said.

The 64-year-old Alameda resident, whose name was not immediately released, crossed two westbound lanes before getting hit in the far right eastbound lane, Ottaviano said. She was not in a crosswalk.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, a 53-year-old man, and his passenger in the 1998 Plymouth Voyager stopped and cooperated with police, Ottaviano said. It was not known immediately whether drugs or alcohol may have been a factor in the collision, she said.

Otis Drive was closed in both directions from the Park Street intersection to Willow Street as officers investigated the incident, Ottaviano said. The street was reopened about 10:25 a.m.

The woman's death follows police noticing a spike in pedestrian-vehicle collisions earlier this year, prompting officers to step up enforcement and to announce a pedestrian awareness campaign that will begin next month.

In January alone, eight crashes involving pedestrians took place in Alameda.

Last year, there were 41 collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles, police said. Drivers were found to be at fault in 36 of the incidents, with 26 of the drivers failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.


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Other reasons for the collisions include drivers simply not paying attention, police said.

Officers cited 62 motorists in February as a result of the stepped-up enforcement, compared to 26 in January.

The woman's death also comes as police are set to kick off a public awareness campaign next month to educate people about traffic safety and the need for community involvement to keep city streets safe.

Called "May You Arrive Safely," the campaign will include daily safety-related messages that will be sent via Facebook and Twitter, reminding pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to share the roads and look out for one another.

There will also be a poster competition open to all Alameda students, including those who are home-schooled. The competition will have three categories based on grade level. One winner will be selected from each of the elementary, middle, and high school entries and will receive a $100 cash prize.

The campaign's main event will be pedestrian safety walk on May 3.

The walk will have two start locations, one at each ferry terminal, and will end at City Hall, where the winner of the poster competition will be announced.

Participants will receive a free T-shirt designed to promote roadway visibility. The shirt, which is "traffic safety" green, has a reflective safety message on the back.

To receive a shirt, participants must register online at www.alamedapolice.org.

41
Number of accidents that involved cars and pedestrians in Alameda last year