City leaders outline campaign to end traffic deaths, injuries by 2027

City leaders outlined a vision today for a new campaign aimed at ending traffic deaths and injuries on Minneapolis streets within 10 years.

City leaders discuss the proposed Vision Zero campaign.The City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee will vote on a resolution Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9:30 a.m. supporting a Vision Zero policy for the city that calls for using data and best practices to develop concrete steps to reach the goal of zero traffic fatalities and injuries on City streets by 2027. The full Council will vote on the resolution Wednesday, Sept. 20.

By adopting a Vision Zero policy, Minneapolis will join several cities across the country, including New York City, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Austin, Chicago and Washington, D.C., in pledging to work toward eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Following passage of the resolution, the City will start working on a Vision Zero Action Plan, which will put equity at its forefront and focus on protecting the most vulnerable users of the roadways: pedestrians and bicyclists. A Vision Zero Task Force made up of City leaders from several departments will guide the work and engage local and regional stakeholders to consider the best approaches in street design, education, encouraging behavior changes, enforcement and legislative solutions to make the transportation network safer for everyone.

While the City of Minneapolis has been at the forefront of implementing policies to make the roadways safer, hundreds of crashes occur each year, resulting in fatalities and injuries. Approximately 76 percent of fatal and serious injuries happened at 908 intersections in the city between 2006 and 2015—about 13 percent of the city’s total intersections.

“Even one preventable death on our streets is one too many,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “We can and we must do more and we are. This cannot and will not be a plan designed or implemented by the City alone. To succeed in making people safer, to be equitable, it must be designed through broad community involvement that recognizes historic inequities. And we must learn lessons from both the successes and failures of other cities. Tomorrow is just a beginning of a robust community process.”

“Everyone wants to see safer streets and fewer crashes in Minneapolis,” said City Council Member Kevin Reich, chair of the Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee. “A Vision Zero policy for our city has the potential to dramatically reshape our response to traffic safety and save many lives.”

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City leaders announce Vision Zero at a news conference Monday, Sept. 11.