10 Cities Chosen to Help Model Vision Zero Policy in the U.S.

The 10 cities chosen will help lead the movement toward Vision Zero in American cities.
Ten “focus cities” will lead the way in developing effective Vision Zero policies.

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:

  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington

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.

8 thoughts on 10 Cities Chosen to Help Model Vision Zero Policy in the U.S.

  1. If DC is being selected as a “model city” for Vision Zero, then the bar is being set very low. The DC government has been very good at talking and patting itself on the back for being so great, but doesn’t actually do anything to improve safety. Many of us who live here recognize that DC’s Vision Zero initiative will slowly disintegrate like the MoveDC initiative, and be forgotten in a few years. And it’s really a shame too, because DC really does need to take action to improve road safety.

  2. Actually, I’m impressed with San Jose, California’s first steps, to tabulate locations and causes for all (ped, bike, and auto) fatalities from 2010-2014, and then try to take steps to make improvements. It seems like the right process, but still there was no improvement in the 2015 sample. For many California communities the fatality data is difficult to find, oversimplified, old and incomplete.

  3. Can you name an American city that has actually done a better job so far? I would bet that people in NYC, Portland, SF, LA, Austin, among others, would have the same complaints about their local governments, all of which have taken some good steps (like DC), but not enough.

  4. Chief Suhr laughed when I asked why dont police set an example by signaling turns? The blinker is the one safety device that informs us pedestrians which way a two ton rolling machine is going, and yet vision zero, the police, and seemingly most drivers, act like they’re giving information to the enemy. Using turn signals is not a policy suggestion to have meetings about – it’s the law (CVC2217). But the law is useless if the police consider it a mere politeness.

  5. Austin doesnt enforce anything. Its a huge problem, and is not talked about. Seattle enforces and considers pedestrians human beings, where as Austin considers anything that is not a car a nuisance. Speaking from experience here. I was hit by a driver running a red light as I was in the crosswalk crossing the street. Unfortunately the driver just got a ticket for running a red light. Meanwhile Im left with massive medical bills. All because of what someone else did.

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