U.S. cities embrace “Vision Zero” to eliminate pedestrian fatalities

The Swedish-born Vision Zero approach to pedestrian safety is gaining momentum in U.S. cities, writes award-winning author Jay Walljasper.  In a new article – A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About – Walljasper explores the pedestrian safety crisis in the U.S. and efforts underway to address it.

More than 4,500 pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles on U.S. streets each year, while another 68,000 are injured, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition’s Dangerous by Design report. Around the world, the crisis is more dire, with more than 270,000 pedestrians killed each year, according to a 2013 report by the World heath Organization.

Walljasper says the Swedish model has reduced pedestrian deaths by half in that country since 2009. The three U.S. states that have adopted the model – Minnesota, Utah, and Washington – all have experienced a 40 percent or more reduction in traffic fatalities.

New York City has fully embraced its Vision Zero initiative across city government, the article says, devoting more resources to safety in a city where more people are killed on city streets by traffic than crime. The article details additional efforts in San Francisco and other localities.