A Commitment to Vision Zero

by Jill Locantore on December 4, 2015

No one should have to die simply by trying to get around

Advocating for an end to all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Denver

At the Sustainable Denver Summit 2015 on December 3, Mayor Hancock called upon community leaders to commit to actions that will help Denver achieve its ambitious 2020 Sustainability Goals. WalkDenver, along with BikeDenver, the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, responded by committing to establish a community-based Vision Zero Coalition.

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Mayor Hancock’s 2016 budget includes $350,000 to create a plan and public marketing campaign that will “formally declare” Denver as a Vision Zero city.

Ensuring that Denver’s streets are safe for people on foot and on bike will help meet the City’s 2020 Sustainability Goal of providing mobility options that reduce commuting travel done in single-occupant vehicles to no more than 60% of all trips.

The Coalition will help inform and advocate for the swift, complete, and equitable implementation of Vision Zero projects and policies in Denver. Specifically, the Coalition will focus on funding and implementation of the “five E’s” to fix the most dangerous streets in Denver where the lion’s share of pedestrian and bicycle crashes occur:

  • Engineering: Fix the known dangerous locations where people are being injured on our streets – many of which are state highways, and therefore require collaboration with CDOT – by delivering on-the-ground improvements quickly.
  • Enforcement: Ensure transparent and data-driven enforcement of traffic laws by the Denver Police Department, with a focus on the most dangerous behaviors, problematic locations and at-fault road users.
  • Education: Raise awareness of the moral impetus for Vision Zero – traffic crashes that result in injuries and fatalities are predictable and therefore preventable, even when road users make mistakes. Invest in practical “how-to” training and education programs for all road users, targeting the most important safety practices and the most lethal traffic behaviors.
  • Encouragement:  Through continuous messaging and incentives create a strong community culture of safety, cooperation and watching out for the well-being of all who share the road.
  • Evaluation and Planning:  Collect the appropriate data and develop a regular and timely evaluation and reporting cycle for all road incidents to support continuous improvement of the strategies outlined above.
WalkDenver and partners aim to launch the Vision Zero Coalition by summer of 2016. We hope that many additional organizations will join us in this effort. Stay tuned for more information!

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