Joined by City officials and members of the Vision Zero Task Force, Mayor Jim Kenney today announced the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan 2025andCapital Plan. In advance of Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, the City renewed its commitment to ending traffic fatalities by 2030.
Traffic fatalities in Philadelphia reached their highest monthly point in the four years since Philadelphia committed to ending traffic fatalities during July 2020. Although it is too soon to draw definite conclusions or determine trends, the COVID-19 stay at home order in March and subsequent phases of pandemic response have coincided with other strains on communities and individuals, which have all taken a toll on Philadelphians.
“This year’s alarming spike in traffic deaths comes at a time when there are fewer cars on the road due to pandemic response – which has encouraged speeding and aggressive driving,” saidMayor Jim Kenney. “Together with all of the challenges Philadelphians have faced this year, these tragic deaths make our Vision Zero efforts more important than ever.”
The Vision Zero Action Plan 2025 is an important step towards the city reaching its goal of zero road deaths.
“Although we know we cannot look at any one year of data in isolation – our trend toward zero needs to shift down in order to reach our goal of zero by 2030,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation Mike Carroll. “We knew zero by 2030 was ambitious – and we stand before you today to recommit to that goal, because we know our city and our families deserve safer streets.”
Moving Forward – A Safe Systems Approach
This Action Plan embraces a framework of safe speeds, safe streets, safe people, safe vehicles, and safety data.
The Vision Zero Action Plan 2025 builds on Philadelphia’s progress over the last three years (see below). The Plan advances the next phase of work using a safe systems framework. This approach to transportation safety looks beyond the immediate conditions of a crash and focuses across connected systems to prevent all fatal crashes. In comparison to a traditional approach that designs roadway environments to function best when users follow precise rules, a safe system approach preemptively accounts for human error. People are not perfect and make mistakes, and when they do, our safety systems should be in place to prevent traffic-related deaths.
Reducing vehicle speeds is a safe systems priority action for Vision Zero in Philadelphia because speed is the number one predictor of survival in the case of a crash. In addition, a safe system promotes the safest and healthiest options for Philadelphians to get around such as taking transit, walking, or biking.
The Vision Zero Action Plan 2025 identifies strategic action items for safe speeds, safe streets, safe people, safe vehicles, safety data and transformative policies. Among the actions set in the 2025 Action plan are:
- Designing residential streets for 20 mph target speeds using traffic-calming measures.
- Expanding automated speed enforcement program to within ¼ mile of all schools and all High Injury. Network streets, upon passage of State enabling legislation.
- Continuing the Neighborhood Slow Zones program by launching a new round of applications in 2021.
- Installing 40 miles of protected bicycle lanes on the High Quality Bike Network.
- Expanding Safe Routes Philly program to 25% of Philadelphia schools by 2025 prioritizing schools near locations with high rates of crashes involving youth.
- Increasing the City’s bikeshare system, Indego, to 350 total stations and expanding to new neighborhoods while ensuring accessibility and affordability for low-income riders.
- Using the High Injury Network and the latest crash data analysis to prioritize safety interventions on the most dangerous streets.
Marking Progress – Building on the 2017 Vision Zero Three-Year Action Plan
Congratulations to Vision Zero Philadelphia on marking three years of progress in prioritizing and providing transportation safety in Philadelphia as part of its Three-Year Action Plan,” saidStreets Commissioner Carlton Williams. “The Streets Department is proud to be a part of this initiative by providing smooth and safe streets. Our traffic engineers and crews play a critical role in designing and installing traffic safety improvements that allow for safe mobility for all users.”
In our first three years, Vision Zero Philadelphia has laid the foundation for safe streets. Highlights from the first three years of Vision Zero year include:
- Mayor Kenney announcing the Vision Zero for Youth pilot project.
- Installing speed cameras at eight locations along Roosevelt Boulevard.
- Completing 58 miles of transformative safety improvements in locations such as Chestnut Street, Market Street, 11th Street, JFK Boulevard and Logan Square.
- Delivering 10 miles of new protected bike lanes on 22nd Street, 11th Street, Market Street, JFK, Spruce Street and Pine Street.
- Breaking ground in 2018 in the two-mile corridor of American Street between Girard and Indiana Avenues in the Northern Liberties and Fairhill neighborhoods. This project highlights the possibilities of reimagining a wide roadbed and reallocating space to different uses. Project will be completed by the end of 2021.
- Installing 119 speed cushions, 121 leading pedestrian intervals, and 2 raised crosswalks.
- Planning 31 miles of upcoming projects on the High Injury Network in the next two years including corridors like Washington Avenue and intersections like Broad, Germantown, and Erie.
- Launching the Neighborhood Slow Zone program with three neighborhood slow zones in progress and two more in 2021.
- Upgrading City fleet vehicles with side guards, 360-degree cameras, and cross over mirrors.
- Reaching over 250,000 people through social media, and placing 1,000 ads on radio and outdoor media campaigns.
Vision Zero continues to prioritize traffic safety in transportation program investments that save lives and promote healthier living. Using data-informed decisions, Vision Zero will ensure equitable traffic safety investments in neighborhoods needing them most. Together, we can build a transportation system that promotes safety and enables healthier living.
By: City of Philadelphia