Seattle leaders will announce Vision Zero today in Lake City, calling for an end to traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, and folks from SDOT and SPD will be at Lake City Library at 3:15 Thursday afternoon to make the announcement.
Technically, this is the second time city leaders have gathered press and called for an end to traffic violence. We wrote this story back in 2012:
The city’s Road Safety Action Plan did not use the phrase “Vision Zero,” but it clearly called for an end to traffic deaths and serious injuries. It was the product of a series of community meetings (the “Road Safety Summit”) and was the work of people from many Seattle departments. It makes the case for ending traffic violence as a public health scourge, framing traffic collisions preventable causes of death and serious injuries. It also includes known solutions.
Since that plan, the city has launched a brilliant and successful school zone speed camera program, which slows down traffic and helps to fund safety projects like Safe Routes to School. The city also crafted a new Bicycle Master Plan.
But more must be done. Will the new Vision Zero plan be bolder? Will there be serious funding? Stay tuned for details.
Lowering speed limits on problem busy streets is one strategy that we’ll see first. The city will also start creating 20mph zones in select residential areas. Here’s a map of where you’ll see action in 2015:
Safer street design can be implemented quickly. We know because we’ve done it.
The Vision Zero plan will come with a serious downtown and urban center focus:
Most pedestrian collisions occur downtown. In fact, more than 600 people have been hit while walking downtown in the last three years. While we’ve seen positive safety gains outside of the city center, we’ve seen an increase in the severity of collisions in the central business district – specifically collisions involving speeding.
Prevent collisions through low-cost, quick changes including:
- Reduce speed limits to 25 mph throughout downtown, starting with Pike, Pine and James streets
- Data-driven pedestrian safety enhancements may include leading or lagging pedestrian intervals, protected turn phases, elimination of dual turn lanes, signal improvements, and no turns on red. 2015 locations include:
• 5th Ave at Union, University, Spring, and Seneca Streets
• 6th Ave at Pike, Spring, Cherry, James, and University Streets
• 7th Ave and Olive Way
Urban Center safety
Bring a higher level of safety to Seattle’s Urban Centers, where high volumes of vehicular traffic, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists merge. Data-driven improvements may include modified signal phasing, traffic calming, protected turn phases and leading or lagging pedestrian intervals at the following locations:
- Lake City at NE 125th Street and Lake City Way NE
- White Center/Westwood at SW Roxbury Street and Delridge Way/16th Ave SW
- Columbia City and Hillman City on Rainier Ave S