Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance Marks Two Years of Vision Zero Initiative by Announcing New Policy Platform
Last week marked the two-year anniversary of LA City’s adoption of Vision Zero, calling for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths by 2017, and the elimination of traffic fatalities by 2025. To help reach this goal, the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance released its official policy platform.
The Alliance is a coalition of more than 20 community-based and advocacy organizations, including LACBC, that has worked since August 2015 to support and influence the implementation of the City’s Vision Zero initiative.
As part of the Alliance, LACBC will use the platform to monitor, track, and evaluate relevant departments holding each accountable to the City’s own Vision Zero goals.
The LA Vision Zero Alliance believes Los Angeles can reduce and eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, despite recent trends. Our policy platform includes the following recommendations for the City:
- Funding: increase and equitably distribute funding for Vision Zero project implementation. The City should distribute Vision Zero investments equitably, prioritizing low-income communities of color, while also ensuring that residents are not priced out of their neighborhood once street improvements are made.
- Community Engagement: improve the City’s community engagement processes for development, implementation, and evaluation of roadway redesigns. The City must develop guidelines for deep, culturally and linguistically competent engagement to ensure that Vision Zero projects are integrated into the community where they are located, and welcome by local residents.
- Transparency and Accountability: strengthen transparency and accountability mechanisms for Vision Zero projects of all kinds, including enforcement. The Alliance is concerned that traffic enforcement efforts under the Vision Zero banner could result in the continued over-policing of Black and Brown residents and would like the LAPD to take a no racial profiling pledge.
Reflecting on Two Years: Success & Shortfalls of the Vision Zero Initiative
In the first two years of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, LADOT conducted data analysis and safety studies to develop the Vision Zero Action Plan, which prioritizes project implementation citywide based on the “High-Injury Network” (HIN) of streets. The Action Plan shows that 65% of fatal collisions occur on just 6% of L.A.’s streets and identifies 40 corridors for upcoming improvements.
In phase one of implementation up to this point, Vision Zero has resulted in the installation of 404 new crosswalks, 109 new speed feedback signs, and 117 new intersection tightenings. Additionally, LADOT began a brand awareness marketing campaign, worked with community-based organizations on an education and outreach campaign on certain HIN corridors, developed an online tool to map the impact of traffic deaths, and grew its dedicated staff to more than 10 people. These are good first steps, but much more needs to be done to save the lives of our families and neighbors.
Despite the effort put into Vision Zero, Los Angeles is far from reaching its goals of a 20% reduction in traffic deaths by 2017 and the elimination of traffic fatalities by 2025. LAPD data shows that the number of people killed or seriously injured by motor vehicles while walking has risen since the City adopted Vision Zero. As of early August 2017, LAPD reported that year-to-date pedestrians deaths were up 24.2% over the same period in 2016, and up 67.4% over the same period in 2015.
Inadequate funding, insufficient community engagement processes, and the unwillingness of particular Los Angeles City Council members to advance life-saving projects in their own districts all contribute to this regression, and to maintaining the status quo on dangerous city streets. Vision Zero progress remains elusive; people walking, bicycling, and driving continue to die in Los Angeles, which has the highest per capita rates of traffic deaths in the United States.