A new standard for safety on our streets — Vision Zero ensures a basic right of safety for all people as they move about their communities. In Massachusetts, Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville have each made a public commitment to Vision Zero, with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
What is Vision Zero?
- Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
- A commitment to Vision Zero shifts the priority of transportation policies and projects from speed to safety, with the philosophy that crashes can be avoided if streets are designed to protect all people.
- Vision Zero sets a timeline and a commitment and brings stakeholders together to ensure a basic right of safety for all people as they move about their communities.
- The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition has successfully led efforts to build public support for Vision Zero, improve proposed street designs, influence legislation, and hold city leaders accountable.
Why Vision Zero?
- Traffic deaths are routinely processed by the public as the unfortunate result of car "accidents" — leaving no one accountable for making changes that can prevent these deaths.
- Cultural attitudes must change to ensure political accountability around safe streets by applying the same focus to traffic deaths as we apply to public campaigns around drunken driving and work site safety.
- To prevent traffic deaths, greater collaboration among local traffic planners, engineers, police officers, policymakers, and public health professionals is needed. Vision Zero brings together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address the complex problem of road safety.
- Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2017, marking the second year in a row of the highest number of fatalities seen in 25 years (Governor's Highway Safety Association).
- In 2017, eighty people walking and ten people biking in Massachusetts were killed by people driving vehicles.
- Through the support of the Vision Zero Network and other national partnerships, cities in the U.S. are being given an opportunity leverage their shared resources to transform the culture and expectations around traffic safety through public policy, roadway designs, and other systemic practices to prioritize safety.
Year Two Progress Report
The Massachusetts Vision Zero publishes the second annual Vision Zero Progress Report for Boston. The report assesses progress in two areas: Vision Zero Fundamentals and Vision Zero Actions, and provides recommendations to help the City reach its goal.
Capacity Boost for Boston
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a commitment of $5 million additional funds for transportation staffing and projects for FY19, including two planners and two engineers tasked with Vision Zero efforts. This investment comes with a commitment to implement 15 miles of protected bike lanes, 15 total Neighborhood Slow Streets zones, and 15 high-crash intersection improvements by 2022.
Action for Cambridge
Cambridge releases its Vision Zero Action Plan. In line with the goals of the plan, the City also announced the implementation of 20 MPH Safety Zones in the City Squares, effective March 1.
In partnership with the Vision Zero Network and the Massachusetts Vision Zero, LivableStreets publishes the Vision Zero Action Plan Guidelines. The guide is designed to help Vision Zero communities build an implementation plan that is concrete and action driven, while being responsive to the context and needs of the community served.
The City of Somerville commits to Vision Zero.
Protect Mass Ave
LivableStreets helps to win interim improvements for Mass Ave, a Vision Zero priority corridor.
The City of Cambridge commits to Vision Zero and adopts a Complete Streets policy.
A - C - T - I - O - N
As a member of the MA Vision Zero Coalition, LivableStreets provides recommendations to the City's Task Force during planning of the city's Vision Zero Action Plan.
Will You Remember Me?
LivableStreets helps to organize Boston's first World Day of Remembrance Vigil at the MA State House, officially launching the MA Vision Zero Coalition.
A fatal bicycle crash at Mass Ave and Beacon St spurs the city's first rapid implementation plan.
The City of Boston commits to Vision Zero and adopts a Complete Streets policy.
Vision Zero Stories
LivableStreets collects hundreds of signatures and stories urging the Mayor to commit to Vision Zero.
LivableStreets serves as a member of Boston Mayor Walsh's Transportation Transition Team, of which the number one recommendation is Vision Zero.
- The City of Boston will be releasing its own Vision Zero annual review later this spring.
- The City of Somerville will be releasing its Action Plan.
- The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition will be releasing progress reports for Cambridge and Somerville.
- LivableStreets and other area advocacy groups crafted an omnibus traffic safety bill which was filed in January 2016. Get updates on the bill here.
What You Can Do
Volunteer: Join us in spreading the word about the importance of safe and livable streets. Our volunteers are actively involved in tracking projects, tabling at events, and serving as Street Ambassadors.
Like our work? Donate today!