Vision Zero — the idea that we should no longer accept traffic deaths and serious injuries — is gaining momentum as a framework for thinking about city streets and transportation, as more American cities adopt the goal of ending traffic fatalities.
But what actually constitutes a Vision Zero policy? What are the best strategies to dramatically reduce traffic violence? Which cities are doing it right, and which are talking the talk without walking the walk?
A new organization, the Vision Zero Network, seeks to help American cities adopt the most effective street safety policies. The organization launched today under the leadership of Leah Shahum, former executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, with support from Kaiser Permanente.
The purpose of the Vision Zero Network will be two-fold, says Shahum. First, the group aims to connect officials in leading Vision Zero cities to facilitate the sharing of best practices. Second, it will establish benchmarks to determine whether cities are backing up the rhetoric with real policy action.
“We really want to make sure that there’s a meaningful standard to being a Vision Zero city,” said Shahum. “And that’s not the reality so far. Because this concept is so new.”