Vision Zero (VZ) is the goal of eliminating serious injuries and fatalities in our transportation system. VZ got its start in Sweden in the 1990’s after decades of above average fatality and injury rates from crashes between vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Since setting the goal of eliminating fatalities and injuries by 2020, Sweden has cut its traffic fatalities in half, despite the increase in vehicles and miles of road constructed in the same amount of time (The Economist, Feb 2014).
Vision Zero is a data-driven initiative that seeks to unify infrastructure design, public education and enforcement efforts around the goal of zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe and healthy mobility for all types of users. It can be summarized in one sentence: No loss of life is acceptable. The Vision Zero approach has proven highly successful. It is based on the simple fact that we are human and make mistakes. The road system needs to keep us moving, and be designed to anticipate those mistakes. But it must also be designed to protect us at every turn.
Since 2006, Long Beach has made steady progress toward its goal of being a leader among bicycle and pedestrian friendly cities through changes in our infrastructure and adoption of related policies. In May 2016, the Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution to pursue a VZ strategy. In March 2018, after securing grant funding, the City Council authorized Department of the Public Works to hire a consultant to conduct the network analysis and develop a VZ policy.
Walk Long Beach will be closing monitoring and advocating for a strong and effective VZ policy for Long Beach.