Columbia City adopting effective Vision Zero approach to ped & bicycle safety, while MU group has a different idea – The Maneater

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

“Deaths and serious injuries on our transportation systems are preventable and therefore they’re unacceptable,” said Ian Thomas, Fourth Ward councilman and co-chairman of Columbia City Council’s Pedestrian Safety Task Force. “If somebody makes a mistake, they don’t have to die for it or kill somebody else for it.”

After holding meetings over the course of a year, the task force came up with many suggestions to increase public safety, but the No. 1 recommendation was a Vision Zero Policy, which aims to reduce the number of pedestrian and traffic fatalities. The task force is working to get the city to adopt that policy.

The policy is relatively new to the U.S., with New York being the first to adopt it in 2014. After a significant decrease in pedestrian and traffic fatalities, more cities began to adopt this policy across the country, including Seattle and San Francisco, all of which have seen reductions in death and serious injuries.

“It’s a very effective policy if it’s implemented right,” Thomas said.

MoBikeFed comment: This article is an excellent summary of the issues surrounding Vision Zero--and pedestrian, bicycle, and motorist fatalities.

For decades, agencies around the world have taken the approach of enforcement, education, and basically blaming the victim whenever a pedestrian or bicyclist is injured or killed. "They should have known better."

If the bicyclist or pedestrian isn't blamed, then it's the motorist "They should have known better."

Vision Zero takes a very different approach. It is data-driven and systems-based. That means that when someone is injured or killed, you don't waste time blaming people. And you don't spend much time and energy exhorting people to act differently--and approach that has been proven time and time again to have a small and temporary effect.

Rather, you change the *system* in which drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists act, in ways that make fatalities and serious injuries essentially impossible.

It works.

For more information about Vision Zero in Missouri, visit our Vision Zero page: