Thursday, June 1, 2023

City provides Two-Year Update on Vision Zero initiatives

 City provides Two-Year Update on Vision Zero initiativesThe City of Austin today released its Two-Year Update on Vision Zero, its ambitious goal to eliminate traffic-related serious injuries and fatalities in Austin. This report covers Vision Zero program activities in 2021 and 2022.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Safety improvements work: Where Vision Zero safety engineering work has been implemented, safety has improved. Major Intersection Safety Projects resulted in a 31% reduction in serious injury or fatal crashes. Similarly, the South Pleasant Valley Road Project, completed in collaboration with the Bikeways bond program in 2021, is showing an 82% reduction in injury/fatal crashes of all modes. 
  • The work must continue: Consistent with national trends, injuries and fatalities in Austin over the past two years remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. Fatal crashes increased on State-owned roadways within Austin, while the number remained relatively flat on non-State-owned roadways. With over 600 people seriously injured or killed each year in Austin, the City acknowledges the need to scale up Vision Zero work to meet the level of the challenge.
  • The core problem: Austin has a transportation system that historically was not designed to account for human mistakes and does not adequately mitigate the potential severity of crashes. Retrofitting this system for safer mobility is at the heart of Vision Zero.

Consistent with its focus on redesigning the transportation system for safer mobility, key accomplishments of Vision Zero in 2021 and 2022 include:

  • Completing seven Major Intersection Safety Projects and initiating construction, design, or scoping on another 25 intersections.
  • Installing low-cost, high-impact systemic projects at more than 40 locations.
  • Lowering speed limits on nearly 50 arterial streets and hundreds of residential streets.
  • Leveraging local community bond dollars to secure over $27 million in federal funds to rapidly increase the scale and scope of Vision Zero's engineering work.

The Vision Zero Two Year Update 2021-2022available in PDF form from Austin Transportation and Public Works, also discusses how Vision Zero is using quality data and analytics to inform its safety work, how it is engaging the community and other stakeholders to help strengthen the breadth and depth of safety work across Austin, and how it is applying an equity lens to all of its safety initiatives to address racial disparities that exist among severe crash victims. The report concludes with a discussion of the work Vision Zero will focus on over the next two years, as well as the names of those who lost their lives in crashes in 2021 and 2022.