Last week the Vision Zero Alliance was formed to urge Mayor Kenney to make good on a campaign promise to create a task forced dedicated to eliminating car crash deaths in the city.
The Alliance is made up of the AAA-Mid Atlantic, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Clean Air Council, Jefferson Hospital, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Run215, and 5th Square. They plan to advocate for safer streets by way of implementing a Vision Zero policy plan.
The concept of Vison Zero was born in Sweden and argues that most traffic crashes aren’t accidents, but rather the (predictable) result of dangerous policies and design. As political policy, streets are safer for all who use them (drivers, bikers, walkers) by way of improved design and use and enforcement of laws.
Since 2011, Philadelphia has averaged more than 11,000 car crashes and 95 car-crash fatalities each year.
The Alliance formed out of frustration for the current Mayor’s inaction on the topic in his first term.
In response to the Alliance, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) issued a statement touting its work with various transportation agencies on initiatives to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety. OTIS also stated that it will appoint a Director of Complete Streets and establish a Vison Zero Task Force within the next month.