National Program of 10 Cities to Collaborate to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities, Severe Injuries
Austin was selected as one of 10 leading cities to participate in a new national program announced today to advance Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users.
The new Vision Zero Focus Cities program, launched today by the Vision Zero Network, includes: Austin, TX; Washington, DC; New York City, NY; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Los Angeles, CA. Austin will be represented by the Mayor’s office, Planning and Zoning, Austin Police, and the Health and Human Services departments, and will work with other city departments, the Vision Zero Task Force, and other partners to end serious injuries and traffic fatalities in Austin.
“This unprecedented collaboration among such diverse city stakeholders – including law enforcement, transportation planners, policymakers, public health officials, community members and more — will change the way we prioritize safe mobility for generations to come,” said Leah Shahum, of the Vision Zero Network. “We look forward to working with Austin to support their Vision Zero goal through this exciting partnership, as well as sharing the lessons learned to all interested communities around the nation.”
As a focus city, Austin will learn from and share its experience with peer cities pursuing a goal of zero traffic deaths and injuries. “Let me be clear: We have way too many traffic fatalities in Austin, but the goal isn’t fewer, it’s zero,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “By sharing ideas and lessons with other cities committed to Vision Zero, we can move the needle on public safety across the nation. Great cities do big things, and participating in the Vision Zero Focus Cities program will help us accomplish our goal.”
Austin’s Draft Vision Zero Action Plan was released this month, outlining a number of goals and recommendations for ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on Austin’s roads. Recommendations focus on four critical actions: Focusing on crash hotspot locations; public education, harnessing data to inform and evaluate actions, and developing a Vision Zero Program.
Austin’s efforts start by changing the way our community perceives traffic deaths and injuries: no longer are they “accidents” or the unfortunate, but unavoidable, cost of doing business. Traffic deaths and injuries are a preventable public health problem. Vision Zero requires a comprehensive approach, combining education and culture change, enforcement and prosecution, and land use, urban design, transportation engineering, and evaluation of our efforts. People will make mistakes, whether walking, bicycling, or driving. Vision Zero’s aim—and the challenge for the Vision Zero Network Focus Cities—is to work collectively to prevent those mistakes from being fatal.
Vision Zero’s goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries in Austin by 2025 is simple, but getting there will not be easy. Austin is excited to work with peer cities to improve safety here at home and across the country. For more information about Austin’s Vision Zero Program, visit www.austintexas.gov/visionzero.