Texas leads the nation in traffic deaths. We can lead the nation in ending traffic deaths. On May 30, 2019, the Texas Transportation Commission adopted a goal to end traffic deaths in the State of Texas by 2050.
Farm&City has worked for the last two years with local activists and nonprofits, families who have suffered from traffic violence, elected officials at all levels, and the Texas Department of Transportation, to change the way the state thinks about transportation such that ending traffic deaths can take its rightful place at the top of all priorities.
Thank you to everyone that has spoken at a vigil, written an email in our email campaign, contacted legislators and the Texas Transportation Commission, and helped bring Texas to this pivotal step.
Our Press Release
The Texas Transportation Commission adopted a minute order this morning instructing the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) and each TXDOT district to “work toward the goal of reducing the number of deaths on Texas roadways by half by the year 2035 and to zero by the year 2050.” The commission acknowledges traffic deaths are preventable, a key element that advocacy groups led by Vision Zero Texas have been asking for in shifting Texas public policies toward responsibly ending our traffic violence epidemic.
“Texas leads the nation in traffic deaths and serious injuries, and we can lead the nation in eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries,” said Jay Blazek Crossley, Executive Director of Farm&City, a 501(c)(3) think and do tank that leads statewide traffic safety advocacy efforts through its Vision Zero Texas project. “We work with governments and leaders to change policies so other families don’t have to go through what we have gone through,“ said Kathy Sokolic, Chair of Central Texas Families for Safe Streets, an independent coalition of families of people who have been hurt by traffic violence, which is also facilitated by Farm&City.
In January, Laredo became the third city in Texas, following Austin and San Antonio, to adopt a Vision Zero approach and goal. “Every city, county, metropolitan planning organization (MPO), and the state itself need a Vision Zero Action Plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries,” said Crossley, explaining that Vision Zero Texas has a goal of reaching ten Texas governments having adopted Vision Zero this year, and a localized effort of every city in the Austin region adopting Vision Zero in the next two years.
During comments before the vote, Commissioner Jeff Austin said “we have to put our money where our mouth is” and suggested allocating substantial available funding in this year’s Unified Transportation Program to safety.
About Vision Zero Texas
Vision Zero Texas is a project of Farm&City that provides technical assistance with policy and data analysis to local governments, activists, and local safety organizations, such as Vision Zero ATX. Farm&City is working with funders to develop the ability to respectfully staff and support Central Texas Families for Safe Streets (CTFSS), an independent coalition of families of people who have been hurt by traffic violence. We want to give Texans the opportunity to receive support services and channel their grief into action.
Farm&City is a statewide 501(c)(3) public policy think and do tank dedicated to high quality urban and rural human habitat in Texas in perpetuity. Major programs include Vision Zero Texas, 1,000 Texans for Transit, Decide Texas, and 50 Million Texans.
About Vision Zero, the worldwide movement
The US Department of Transportation has had a goal for several years to end traffic deaths nationwide in the next 30 years, and various federal agencies, nonprofit groups, and transportation engineering groups have been collaborating on the Road to Zero goal. Vision Zero is a philosophy that has spread across the world that traffic deaths are preventable and we need accountable goals for every level of government to work to end traffic deaths.
Much advocacy work in the United States has focused Vision Zero on cities, led nationwide by the Vision Zero Network, a collaborative campaign helping communities reach their goals of Vision Zero — eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries — while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero Texas works closely with various statewide and national partners, including the Vision Zero Network, but we have always said that the nature of Texas jurisdictions requires not just cities, but counties, metropolitan planning organizations, and the state itself to adopt Vision Zero type goals and strategies.
About the Texas Transportation Commission
“TxDOT is governed by the five-member Texas Transportation Commission and an executive director selected by the commission. Commission members serve overlapping six-year terms and are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Texas Senate.”