On Monday, November 7 (the day before Election Day), the City of Philadelphia released its Vision Zero Executive Order, creating an Office of Complete Streets and a new Vision Zero Task Force, the goals of which will be to make streets safer for everyone in Philadelphia.
Both of these goals were major asks from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and our partners during the mayoral campaign of 2015 and over the past year, since Mayor Jim Kenney has taken the helm in City Hall.
The Vision Zero Concept was conceived in Sweden in 1994 and is an internationally-recognized series of policies designed to end traffic-related deaths in a given place, within a given amount of time. There are approaches to engineering, education and enforcement systems cities and countries can take to reduce deaths, with the goal of zero.
The Bicycle Coalition has taken this approach to policy because we believe that all traffic deaths are unnecessary, and because bicyclists will not be safe on the streets until all traffic is calm, and cyclists are considered a priority.
The Vision Zero Task Force’s goal will be to establish long-term and short-term “data-driven strategies with measurable goals and target dates for reducing sidewalk and roadway user fatalities and serious injuries,” according to the Executive Order.
Additionally, the Task Force will determine best practices and ways to implement roadway safety in Philadelphia, using an equitable approach to education. The first output is that the Task Force will produce, by mid-March, an action plan that lays out how the city will approach reaching zero deaths by 2030.
For further details on some potential options for cyclists and pedestrians in the city’s upcoming Vision Zero plan, check out my Metro Philly column this week, all about the city’s plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030.
Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart has been asked to sit on the Mayor’s Vision Zero Task Force, which means cyclists will have a literal seat at the table when the city finalizes its plan for street safety, something we’ve been advocating for since the mayoral primary, as well.
If you want to read the entire Vision Zero Executive Order, check it out here:
Members of the Task Force include representatives of:
Licenses & Inspections Department
Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Managing Director’s Office
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
African American Chamber of Commerce
Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
People’s Emergency Center