Vision Zero director says community involvement is required in traffic safety strategies

during the Seeing Washington Zero Sumy DistrictIn September, hosted by the Washington District Cyclists Association, Tiffany Smith, Director of the Vision Zero Network, provided pointers to cities that want to incorporate the Network’s Vision Zero approach into their applications for competitive grants under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Cities all over the country are embracing zero visibilityAn unconventional, community-wide approach to ending – or at least reducing – traffic accidents. The program focuses on a multi-pronged approach that begins with design and policy rather than traditional education, emphasis, and engineering. Emphasizes the protection of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists as well as drivers and passengers.

One IIJA-funded program, and Safe Streets and Roads Grant Program for All, saves up to $1 billion annually to reduce road losses. “This is the time to move on and try things you haven’t done before,” Smith said. Its indications:

  1. Expect inevitable tragedies. Crashes will happen, so don’t just think about trying to prevent them but also how to minimize the damage when they do. “People will make mistakes. Design for them,” Smith said. “If you control the speeds at which vehicles are traveling, for example, people are less likely to get seriously injured. Don’t just reduce the speed limit; design streets to minimum limits using metrics like Speed ​​bumps or humps, pedestrian islands and painted footpaths.
  2. Think proactively. Look for the areas where problems are likely to occur, not just the places where they have occurred most recently or most often. These can include underserved areas and places with high concentrations of pedestrians and cyclists. Identify vulnerable populations for specific interventions, such as neighborhoods with many children, immigrants, people with limited English proficiency, or high poverty rates. For example, when New York City found it Older people have suffered a disproportionate share of traffic-related injuriesThe city has partnered with hospitals and top centers of focus Walking Safety Measures In the areas they frequent and where they are most likely to be harmed.
  3. Don’t just rely on data. Do not assume that the road is safe because the accident rate is low. The data may show that there is no high rate [of collisions] “It’s in underserved areas, but maybe that’s because people don’t feel safe on the road,” Smith said.
  4. Don’t forget your allies. Describe your plans for working with community groups in your funding applications, and maintain the partnerships you forge when you plan. “There has to be a long-term relationship,” Smith said.

Recent reports urge Vision Zero software to act Reduce driver error And the Road design refocus To make the streets safer as traffic deaths continue to increase in the United States. In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an annual increase of about 7% in the United States Traffic related deaths In the first quarter of 2022, from 8,935 victims to 9,560.

At the same time, last week the US Department of Transportation issued a request for information about Enhancing the safety of road users at risk at intersections. Noting 1,674 pedestrians and 355 cyclists were killed at crossings in 2020, the USDOT requests data and suggestions about sensors, warning signals, and other technologies to make it safer for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and scooter users to cross the street, as well as non-data and suggestions technological. Please receive feedback by October 16th.

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