Washington, D.C. was an early adopter of Vision Zero in the United States, but eventually it became emblematic of the country's lack of progress in reducing traffic collisions.
Vision Zero programs all over the country and world set goals to eliminate traffic fatalities for all road users—from drivers to pedestrians to people on bikes—but in the United States they have yet to find much success. Traffic collisions and fatalities continue to rise, even during the low-driving years of the pandemic.
Washington D.C.'s Vision Zero program has, for better or worse, has exemplified the shortcomings of Vision Zero in the United States. Lofty ambitions, best intentions, soundbites from politicians, and the high hopes from advocates have yet to produce results. Planetizen has cited D.C. example as an example of what not to do to achieve Vision Zero since 2015, the year of the plan's adoption. With 40 traffic-related deaths in 2021, the District has its deadliest year on the roads since 2007—just three years before Vision Zero had intended to eliminate all traffic fatalities.
The nation's capital recently went back to the drawing board, reports Callan Tansill-Suddath for DCist, updating its Vision Zero ordinance with a new plan for eliminating traffic fatalities. "The update includes information on the status of the plan since its initial implementation in 2015 and data on factors such as traffic deaths in D.C. compared to other cities, and fatality rates by ward. It also highlights how Vision Zero will be updated in an effort to eventually reach the goal of zero traffic deaths," according to the article.
While the plan focuses on equity, recognizing worse traffic safety outcomes in wards 7 and 8, the District will rely on a heavier police presence to deter speeders. More details on the revamped approach to Vision Zero in D.C. can be read at the source article below.
The Right to Mobility
As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.
Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums
The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.
How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development
Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.
Increased Service, Employer Tax Breaks Entice Transit Ridership in Montgomery County
Montgomery County, Maryland transit planners are hoping workers returning to the office in 2023 will rediscover the benefits of a public transit commute.
NYC Mayor Adams Proposes Ambitious Housing Agenda in State of the City Address
Housing is one of four “pillars” proposed by Mayor Eric Adams in his “Working People’s Agenda.”
Utah Could Eliminate Parking Requirements Near Transit
A proposed state bill would bar cities from requiring parking in areas adjacent to transit stations in an effort to make housing production more affordable and encourage walking and transit use.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
Harvard GSD Executive Education
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.