Vision Zero

image: stock.tookapic.com

Streetfight offers a look at cities around the world that have a large population of bicyclists, and how streets have been redesigned according to this in order to make roads safer. She provides examples of streets and roads that should be changed and have been changed for the better in design to show a decrease in accidents and congestion. These changes may appear to be expensive and time-consuming, but Sadik-Khan explains that hardly anything would change at all, except for the paint on the road. Not only does the change in street design attribute to the community of drivers, but it also creates another option of transportation with an inclusion of a bike lane or pedestrian lane. This is what she offers as justification for radical realignment of the streets.

According to Wikipedia, Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project that started in Sweden and “aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic.” This plan focuses on building roads in based on practicality and in terms of convenience and safety. Another key part of the system includes the fact that, “monetary value is placed on life and health, and then that value is used to decide how much money to spend on a road network towards the benefit of decreasing how much risk.” If this plan were implemented in NYC, it would mean that most roads would have a speed limit of 19mph, due to the amount of pedestrians in the city. This plan puts safety, health and life as a priority. This means that the speed limits are created in order to create safer streets and make the risk of accidents decrease. Among the many cities that implemented this plan, New York City has made a decision to follow Vision Zero themselves. According to Wikipedia, NYC “enumerated a long list of initiatives the city would be following to reduce fatalities on city streets. Among the measures it plans to take includes pushing for changes in the State legislature to allow the city more control in the administration of traffic safety measures such as speed reduction.

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