The Vision Zero Working Group is an MTC-led panel of Bay Area officials working toward a shared goal of making the region’s streets safer for everyone, especially pedestrians and bicyclists. Members come from cities, counties, transit agencies, universities and advocacy groups.
The Group will have its first meeting February 17, 2021 and likely will meet quarterly thereafter.
About Vision Zero
Over 400 fatalities and 1,500 serious injuries occur on the Bay Area’s local streets and roads each year. As the population grows and total vehicle miles traveled increase, these numbers could rise if regional and local policies remain unchanged. Though safety has been identified as one of the goals of MTC’s regional transportation plans for the past 20 years, the region has recently seen increased numbers of fatalities and serious vehicular injuries.
While several Bay Area cities (San Francisco, Fremont, Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley and Menlo Park) already have adopted Vision Zero policies to reduce fatalities and injuries, MTC encourages further action around the region.
A regional approach can promote improved safety and eliminate some duplication of costs among cities and counties, allowing local governments to redirect their limited dollars toward implementing new safety projects and policies. MTC will provide data and offer technical assistance to local governments to supplement existing Vision Zero efforts. Some crash statistics currently available through Vital Signs include Traffic Fatalities in the Bay Area and Serious Injuries from Crashes in the Bay Area.
The MTC Regional Safety/Vision Zero Policy establishes a strategy for working with partner agencies to support equitable and data-driven action towards eliminating traffic deaths and serious vehicular injuries in the Bay Area by 2030.
MTC is required to adopt safety performance measures and targets, and to provide resources to cities and counties to support regional safety goals. The Regional Safety Policy establishes a framework of principles and actions to guide MTC staff in working towards the policy goals:
- Provide regional leadership to promote safety; engaging and incentivizing leadership across jurisdictions; working toward aligning funding policy with safety goals.
- Apply a data driven approach to inform safety policy and strategic use of available funds and resources. Regional safety data will be housed at MTC so local jurisdictions can benefit from consistent and reliable data.
- Promote equity in regional safety policies by considering and analyzing impacts on communities of concern and protecting vulnerable roadway users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Support beneficial safety policies and legislation targeting evidence-based solutions to safety problems.
- Engage key regional stakeholders in safety policy development, implementation and collaboration on safety best practices. Provide education and technical assistance within budgetary constraints.
MTC’s Safety Data System — to be ready by the end of 2021 — will improve cities’ and counties’ access to safety-related data and anlysis tools, so they can develop tailored traffic safety plans and identify countermeasures to reduce traffic fatalities.
This flexible system will integrate information about crashes, infrastructure, equity and demographics, as well as additional data that become available over time. This integration will facilitate safety analyses that cities can use that fits with their unique priorities and challenges. Local jurisdictions will be able to access data from individual intersections to longer transportation corridors, and to identify larger regional trends.
MTC aims to provide a range of technical assistance to cities and counties, including:
- Reliable safety data
- Analytical toolkits
- Technical expertise to enhance safety
- Funding advocacy
- Help to prepare Local Road Safety Plans (required by Caltrans as a condition of Highway Safety Improvement Plan funding)
MTC’s regional focus also can help coordinate safety projects spanning multiple jurisdictions.