The City of Seattle has released its 2017 Vision Zero Progress Report, which highlights steps the City has taken to move closer to its Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.
Vision Zero was launched in 2015 as a citywide, collaborative effort to improve street safety for everyone. Since then, the City has supported Vision Zero with more than $200 million in funding through the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle.
For the past two years, Seattle has moved forward on a number of engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to meet this aggressive goal and improve safety for all travelers:
- Redesigned portions of Seattle’s most crash-prone streets, making them safer travel for people driving, walking, biking, and riding transit
- Improved coordination between SDOT and the Seattle Police Department to enhance enforcement efforts and target top contributing circumstances to crashes (speeding, impairment, distraction, failure to yield to pedestrians)
- Reduced the speed limit on 2,400 miles of residential (non-arterial) streets and 75 miles of center city arterials, because slowing down to the speed of life is critical to reaching Vision Zero
- Partnered with transportation companies to reduce impaired driving by offering discounted rides in nightlife hotspots
- Developed an approach to reach out to underrepresented communities, as they often bear a disproportionate burden of crashes
“Seattle is one of the safest cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean we should accept death and injury as a byproduct of commuting,” says SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “We will continue to retool our streets with an emphasis on safety versus speed.”
The City knows that ending traffic deaths will not happen overnight. Vision Zero is a long-term goal that Seattle can only achieve with a steady stream of changes to our streets and our behavior.
While SDOT has seen trends headed in the right direction,preventable tragedies still do occur. Over the past two years, more than 40 people have lost their lives as a result of traffic collisions. Another 300 people have been seriously injured. People walking and biking, and older adults continue to be overrepresented in serious and fatal crashes.
“I’m proud that Seattle is a national leader on safety, but there is more work ahead,” says City Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “To reach our goal of zero traffic deaths, we need to do everything we can to make sure our kids, older adults, and everyone in between can get around our growing city safely.”
In the months ahead, SDOT plan to:
- Continue focusing on high crash corridors
- Improve pedestrian safety by installing more than 40 leading pedestrian intervals to give people walking a head start in crosswalks
- Expand turn restrictions in some locations
- Review speed limits in urban villages where vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur most often
- Build 50 blocks of new sidewalks
Read more about has been achieved done and where the City is headed in their Vision Zero Progress Report, available at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.