Centering Safety at Metropolitan Planning Organizations

by Leah Shahum | August 22, 2017 | in Case Studies, News

A new resource helping cities and regional agencies collaborate on safety measurement, funding, policy, and planning

 

The role of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, or MPOs, is receiving increasing attention as more people across the country acknowledge the travesty of preventable loss of lives on our roadways and adopt a Vision Zero approach to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Last year, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives and more than 4 million more were injured on U.S. roadways, according to the National Safety Council. These traffic deaths and injuries disproportionately affect youth, the elderly, communities of color, low-income communities, and those walking and biking.

In communities across the nation, local electeds, police chiefs, transportation and health professionals, and community leaders are stepping up to say “Enough is Enough” and to shift the paradigms that allow for such tragedy and pain. Cities are adopting the goal and principles of Vision Zero, in order to afford safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero strategies include an emphasis on strong political leadership, a focus on managing speed and designing roadways for safety, community engagement, and data-driven strategies that prioritize safety.

Through regional planning, funding and policy, MPOs are uniquely positioned to embrace Vision Zero and align their efforts with the goal of saving lives. Metropolitan Planning Organizations provide funding based on long-range transportation plans, they serve as a regional nexus for crash data and performance measurement, and they have the ability to stimulate a collaborative process to address issues that no single jurisdiction can tackle alone.

The Vision Zero Network shares this resource and calls on MPO leadership and staff around the country to join with Vision Zero partners working to prioritize safe mobility for all.

 

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