Did You Know?
Time for Chicago to step up its Vision Zero efforts
Now that election season is over, it’s time for our leaders to follow through on their commitment to make our streets safer by developing an action plan to achieve Vision Zero in Chicago.
Vision Zero is an international traffic safety movement built on the concept that no loss of life on our streets in acceptable and traffic crashes are not mere “accidents,” but preventable mishaps that can be reduced and ultimately eliminated with systemic changes. In 2012, Chicago adopted a Zero in 10 goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2022.
This week a new organization launched to help Chicago and cities across the country achieve these important goals. The Vision Zero Network is a collaborative campaign among cities working toward zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries among all road users.
Since Chicago made its commitment in 2012, several other cities have established Vision Zero policies and taken steps to achieve these new goals, including New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Portland.
Chicago already has created several great resources that analyze what’s causing crashes throughout the city and what can be done about it, including the Chicago Pedestrian Plan, Streets for Cycling Plan and Chicago Forward Action Agenda.
Still, we’re lacking an action plan that ties all these strategies together, brings all relevant public agencies to the table — including transportation, public health, police, water management and others — and assigns responsibility and accountability for long overdue safety improvements.
Soon after being elected mayor in 2013, New York City Mayor DeBlasio released a Vision Zero Action Plan that serves as a model for how cities can begin to take concrete steps to get to zero.
During election season, Mayor Emanuel and the new city council heard from crash victims and their families, physicians, traffic safety experts and advocates like us who recognize Chicago needs to do more to achieve real progress on its Vision Zero goal. With momentum building for the movement across the country, it’s time for our leaders to respond to this call for action and join our peer cities in making our streets safer for everyone.
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