2016 was a monumental year for Vision Zero across the United States.
The number of cities committing to Vision Zero more than doubled, and interest in adopting meaningful, action-driven policies for safe streets has spread from a few early-adopter, big, coastal cities to communities large and small across the country. As we roll into 2017 with a challenge that is as big as ever, it’s helpful to look back at the trends — both promising and troubling — that shaped Vision Zero progress in 2016.
Cross-departmental collaboration is one of the necessary elements for effective Vision Zero efforts. Traffic safety is not the purview of any single department, and Vision Zero projects often demand buy-in and leadership from multiple agencies within a city structure, including Transportation, Public Works, Police, and Public Health, among others. While it’s not glamorous or even visible to most of the public, one of the most important things a city can do is make sure its internal processes allow for – and even incentivize – strong cooperation between agencies to advance Vision Zero.
Looking at trends in the short term doesn’t always paint a complete picture. Nevertheless, we can’t help but be discouraged by the direction of traffic safety in the U.S. described in two recent reports — one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and another from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Both reports analyze recent data to answer a similar big picture question: When it comes to traffic safety, how are we doing? Unfortunately, the answer is “not good enough.”
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Vision Zero Network Resource Library. The Library contains some of the best emerging practices and samples of Vision Zero legislation, case studies, implementation plans, studies, campaigns and more from cities in the U.S. and around the world.