Now that Houston has adopted Vision Zero, Dallas and Phoenix are the only cities left out of the ten largest in the US that have not adopted Vision Zero and are not yet working on a Vision Zero Action Plan to end traffic deaths.
It appears that Dallas may leave Phoenix behind with its own Vision Zero strategy, following a presentation by city staff to the Mayor and Council on October 2, 2019, that seemed well received by the Mayor and Council.
Michael Rogers, Director of the Dallas Department of Transportation, gave an impassioned and very informed presentation on the need for Vision Zero and meaningful steps the City of Dallas could take to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries, as seen in the video embedded below:
Notably, the staff recommendation includes matching the goal of reaching zero fatalities by 2030 recently adopted in Houston through an Executive Order signed by Mayor Sylvester Turner. The Dallas staff proposal includes a suggestion for a draft Vision Zero Action Plan to be due back to council by December 2021, while the City of Houston Executive Order requires a plan be developed within a year of signing, meaning that a plan is now due to be completed for the City of Houston by August 13, 2020.
The cities of Austin and San Antonio already have Vision Zero Action Plans and robust Vision Zero strategies, funding, and programs. The City of Laredo launched their Vision Zero program in January 2019 making Houston the 4th city in Texas, and we are working with several other Texas cities and counties expected to move forward soon.
The Texas Strategic Highway Safety Plan includes a call for all Texas governments to “adopt Safe System (Vision Zero) and Complete Streets approaches to benefit older road users when designing and operating roadways.” Similarly, the Texas SHSP includes a call for Texas governments to create their own Pedestrian Safety Action Plans, including “coordination with Vision Zero Action Plans.”
Finally, the Texas SHSP also includes a call to “encourage the use of target speeds that consider pedestrians, land use, and the roadway context” and “design new roadways for a target speed appropriate for the adjacent environment and safety of all users rather than for a design speed intended to maximize motor vehicle speeds.” These match the proposal from Dallas Transportation Department for comprehensive speed management to be a key focus of the city’s Vision Zero strategy, as has been recently adopted in the City of Austin.
Farm&City is working toward ubiquitous adoption of Vision Zero across Texas through our Every City, Every County, Every Life campaign, which is a partnership of our Vision Zero Texas project and local leaders, such as Central Texas Families for Safe Streets and Vision Zero ATX.
Along with these and other partners, Vision Zero Texas is developing a guide for any group of concerned citizens anywhere in Texas to effectively work with their city, county, and metropolitan planning organization, to adopt Vision Zero at each level of government. Please get in touch if you would like more information or would like to be working to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in your area.