What is Vision Zero? Simply put, it’s a recognition that traffic fatalities are preventable, and a commitment to ensure that no one is killed in traffic. Cities that adopt Vision Zero set out to end traffic deaths within a specific time frame.
In America, a few cities have publicly committed to Vision Zero. So how should policy makers go about achieving this goal? What works and what doesn’t? Which places are making real progress, and how are they doing it?
The Vision Zero Network was founded with support from Kaiser Permanente to help ensure that “Vision Zero” promises result in meaningful and effective change.
Yesterday, the network announced 10 “focus cities” that will model Vision Zero strategy in the United States. These cities were chosen for having demonstrated a significant commitment to Vision Zero:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco
The “focus cities” initiative will bring together transportation, police, and public health officials from those 10 cities, as well as representatives from mayors’ offices. This network of public officials will share best practices and develop common strategies for eliminating traffic deaths.
Shahum told Streetsblog she expects work to begin right away. Officials from the 10 cities will participate in monthly phone calls and meet a few times a year in person.
“I do believe we’ll be more effective — and sooner — if we’re learning from each other, elevating what works, and putting our heads together on the stuff that’s really the toughest,” said Shahum.
Shahum also announced a group of “emerging Vision Zero cities” — including San Antonio, San Jose, Denver, New Orleans, and Eugene, Oregon — that can get one-on-one help from the experts at the Vision Zero Network. Shahum said she expects this group to grow a lot as more cities consider or adopt Vision Zero policies.