D.C. Revamps its Vision Zero Plan to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities

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.

2 minute read

November 1, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Washington, D.C.

Allison C Bailey / Shutterstock

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.

Friday, October 28, 2022 in DCist

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

7 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

June 17 - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

June 17 - NOLA.com

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.