Vision Zero is an international movement to help cities reduce traffic related deaths to zero. While that goal may sound impossible, every death prevented along the way saves the life of a member of our community.
Last month, our city council voted in favor of creating a Vision Zero Task Force. It is a great first step, but one that was brought about only by the pressure of excellent community groups like WALKSacramento and Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates. This effort is truly in its infancy, and it must become a real priority of the next mayor.
Here are some key steps that our next mayor must take to help implement Vision Zero:
- Funding: Currently, the Task Force has no funding to help achieve their new goals.
- Focus: Many of the changes have to do with the priorities of our city. Too often life-saving takes a back seat to cost saving. More than any individual change, we need this change in perspective.
- Participation: Our next mayor and next city manager must make clear to the heads of our city departments that this is a high priority, and work with them to make this part of our city culture, from the Department of Public Works, Police, Parks, Finance, Utilities, and Information Technology.
- Every Driver, Every Cyclist, Every Pedestrian: Vision Zero is often viewed as a program for protecting people traveling without a car, but the average traffic related death in Sacramento happens to someone traveling by automobile. We can and must make our streets safe for everyone.