Bipartisan Bill Would Establish Small “Vision Zero” Grant Program

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to help cities achieve zero traffic  deaths. Photo: Jonathan Maus
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to help cities achieve zero traffic deaths. Photo: Jonathan Maus

As more cities adopt Vision Zero plans to eliminate traffic deaths, a new proposal in Congress aims to help implement them. Problem is, the amount of funding is a drop in the bucket.

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus, have introduced a bill they’re calling the Vision Zero Act of 2015. Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland has the details:

In a statement, Blumenauer’s office said the bill is a recognition that “communities across the country are recognizing that there is only one number of acceptable deaths on our streets: zero.” The goal of the legislation is ambitious: “eliminating all transportation-related fatalities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers.”

The Vision Zero Act creates two new US Department of Transportation grant programs. One sets aside $5 million a year for communities to develop Vision Zero plans, the other grant will award five communities a share of $25 million to implement their plans.

The Vision Zero Act is also supported by AAA. Their Federal Affairs Director Avery Ash said their studies show more than five in six drivers support state actions to work toward zero traffic deaths.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Mobilizing the Region blog explains the optimism over new rules governing Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor that could help make the critical route truly high-speed at last. The Reno Rambler says he’s not sold on bike-share in his city given the lack of safe bike infrastructure. And 1000 Friends of Wisconsin wonders how long the state can keep ignoring shifts in the way people get around.