Safestreets, Inc.

Our vision is for streets to be designed and maintained with a focus on the safety of everyone that uses the street, not just drivers.  Instead, roads are usually designed simply to accommodate as many vehicles as possible at the highest speed limit possible, with little regard for anything else.  The often tragic consequences are typified by the Los Angeles Times 2017 report that pedestrians account for nearly half of the traffic collision fatalities within the city.

The firm’s founder, Michael D. Smith, P.E., has long been aware of the overriding focus on vehicles in roadway design.  He is a U.C. Berkley trained professional engineer who practiced roadway design for 9 years prior to becoming an attorney.  Given this background, and considering his dissatisfaction with roadway safety, he was naturally drawn to cases involving dangerous roadways.  His experience in litigating these specialized cases revealed that many trial attorneys could benefit from additional expertise.  Safestreets, Inc. was formed to fill this need.

Mr. Smith’s experience also confirmed the importance of working closely with the best possible engineering expertise.  This is what we have in Michael Sallaberry, T.E., who is also the lead engineer for San Francisco’s world-renowned pedestrian and bicycle safety programs.  His impressive credentials include a voting position on the ten member California Traffic Control Device Committee, which regulates every stripe, sign and signal that is allowed to appear on California’s streets.  


The firm’s principal has practiced law in California since 2000.  He has litigated and tried to verdict over 30 jury trials.  He is also a civil engineering graduate of U.C. Berkeley who has been licensed as a professional engineer in California for over 26 years.  He worked as a roadway design engineer for 9 years with CH2M, one of the largest engineering consulting firms in the world.  


Mr. Sallaberry has over 20 years of experience in traffic engineering.  His expertise includes design of traffic control devices, as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety features and roadway improvements.  He is a civil engineering graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.