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Vision Zero plan aims to reduce traffic deaths to zero

Vision Zero plan aims to reduce traffic deaths to zero

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Vision Zero resolution introduces the framework needed to start working on a Vision Zero plan in Indianapolis.

Vision Zero is a nationwide movement to bring down all traffic deaths, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and all other people using the streets and sidewalks.

The goal is to reduce traffic deaths in Indianapolis to zero by 2035 through policy change, implementing roadway strategies, and creating infrastructure change.

This resolution allows the city to create a 15-person task force that will create the Vision Zero Action Plan.

“The plan is to set an expectation and a vision that we can eliminate traffic deaths by 2035 by paneling a cross-functional team of community leaders, councilors, and other experts to come up with an actual plan that we can attach budget dollars to every year,” said Councilor John Barth (D), Indianapolis.

Barth initiated the resolution alongside Councilor Andy Nielsen (D) Indianapolis. They are joined by eight other cosponsors.

The Indy Pedestrian Safety Crisis website is an activist-run page that tracks traffic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists. That group reports 23 fatalities this year up from 20 at this time last year.

“We really need to take some time to work closely, to put together this plan, and then to start attaching budget dollars to it,” Barth said. “So that will be a lengthy months-long process. But in the meantime, there’s no reason why we can’t continue to push forward with existing pedestrian safety initiatives.”

Councilors Barth and Nielsen said it is time for Indy to join other cities such as Columbus, Ohio, which is considered a peer city.

Just under 60 cities are participating in Vision Zero including small cities such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and large ones like Denver, Colorado.

Hoboken, New Jersey, is considered the gold standard when it comes to Vision Zero.

“Proposal 224 reflects what other cities and municipalities have done in eliminating traffic fatalities and crashes that involve serious bodily injury,” Nielsen said. “So we need to continue to be vigilant in how we’re addressing this in the upcoming budget process but we have seen the need to act now.”

The task force is set to start meeting in October of this year and adopt a vision zero action plan by July 1 of next year.

The resolution was sent to the Public Works Committee. The next meeting is July 18.