City Leaders: No Loss of Life Acceptable on our Streets
Signaling a powerful shift for urban transportation safety, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today passed a resolution supporting Vision Zero at its annual meeting of more than 270 mayors, held in San Francisco, CA.
Recognizing that “traffic fatalities are not inevitable,” the resolution declared that “no one should die or be seriously injured while traveling on our cities’ streets.”
Vision Zero is an innovative strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe and is now gaining momentum in major American cities.
In the past two years alone, a growing number of leading cities have officially declared Vision Zero goals, including New York City, NY; San Francisco, CA; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and San Jose, CA. And more cities are actively considering committing to Vision Zero.
“This Vision Zero resolution isn’t checking some political box; it is a serious commitment set by cities to protect our citizens,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, of Portland, OR, who co-sponsored the USCM resolution (pictured right). “As Police Commissioner, I get messages when things go wrong. I see the tragic results of crashes. These Vision Zero goals are asking all of our employees and citizens to play a role in creating safer roadways for all users.”
“San Francisco is proud to lead among U.S. cities committed to Vision Zero, and we are excited to see more cities work toward these important Vision Zero goals,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who also co-sponsored the USCM resolution (pictured below). “We look forward to collaborating with the growing number of Vision Zero cities to ensure that our cities’ streets are safe for all those who move around.
In addition to Mayors Hales and Lee, the following mayors co-sponsored the Vision Zero resolution:
- Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, CA
- Muriel Bowser, Washington, DC
- Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City, UT
- Paul Soglin, Madison, WI
- Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma, WA
- Sam Liccardo, San Jose, CA
- Marin Walsh, Boston, MA
- Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore, MD
- Greg Stanton, Phoenix, AZ
- Edward Murray, Seattle, WA
- Bill de Blasio, New York City, NY
- Bill Harrison, Fremont, CA
- Michael A. Nutter, Philadelphia, PA
The American public has shown strong support for the Vision Zero approach. In 2014, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that more than five in six drivers support their state adopting a vision to reduce to zero the number of people killed in crashes.
Spurred by leadership from citizen groups and civic leaders, momentum for Vision Zero is coming, largely, from the local level. The Vision Zero Network, a new collaborative campaign works to help cities by identifying and leveraging best practices from around the U.S. and other countries.
Too many aspects of our transportation system are out of sync with our cities’ priorities for improved health, sustainability, equity and economic well-being. Local leaders are acting to help ensure safe mobility and to align transportation with other priorities for healthy, livable, vibrant cities.
PeopleForBikes, a Business Council member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and a founding investor in the Vision Zero Network, commended today’s vote of support for Vision Zero.
“Mayors are leading the charge on safe streets and designing better infrastructure to accommodate biking and walking,” said Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes’ V.P. Business Network, who attended the conference. “It’s exciting to see strong leadership and so many champions from this important group.”
Already, Vision Zero communities are taking action steps to eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries, including setting appropriate speed limits and using technology to manage unsafe speeds; redesigning streets to be more welcoming and safe for all road users, particularly the growing number of people biking and walking in cities; and implementing meaningful behavior change campaigns and enhancing traffic enforcement.
Ensuring safe, healthy transportation options is viewed as increasingly important to the health of cities and their inhabitants.
One of the leading voices in a national conversation about the health benefits of walking and active transportation, Kaiser Permanente is supporting the Vision Zero Network’s efforts through a grant from its National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation and commended the Vision Zero resolution passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“Ensuring access to safe streets and environments is critically important if we want more people to be active in the communities where they live, work and go to school,” said Tyler Norris, Vice President of the Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente. “Vision Zero brings together key stakeholders to work toward the common goal of improving the health and well-being of our communities.”
Click here to read the full resolution.