Last week, the City of Philadelphia released its Vision Zero Three Year Action Plan to the public. The initiative was started by Mayor Kenney to address the alarming rates of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries caused by vehicles. Philly currently has the most vehicle involved pedestrians deaths compared to other U.S cities including Los Angeles and New York. Clean Air Council and Feet First Philly are working as part of multiple coalitions to address this issue and create safe streets for all.
Here are the highlights you need to know:
- The first and most important: car crashes are not accidents, but preventable incidents that can be avoided through education and engineering.
- Speed Kills: a pedestrian’s chance of surviving a car crash jumps from 90% to 10% with a difference of just 20 mph. That is the difference of going 20 mph and 40 mph on Market Street.
- High Injury Network: 50% of all crashes take place in 12% of Philadelphia’s streets, and these areas will be the focus of Vision Zero to make the most impact. Click here to view the High Injury Network.
The most alarming discovery is the similarity between the root causes. According to the Vision Zero map, which crowd sourced information from the public, 80% of the major issues are driving behaviors that can be addressed with stricter enforcement. In fact, the top two major safety concerns are a general disregard to traffic laws and aggressive driving, which includes running red lights or stop signs, as well as blocking crosswalks and sidewalks. Philadelphia already has rules in place to combat these safety issues; they just need to be enforced.
Vision Zero also highlights new engineering feats! Check out our favorite new features:
- Install the first two bicycle signals in Philadelphia
- Install two raised intersections
- Install Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at 50 intersections per year, which give pedestrians a three to seven second head start at intersections.
Philadelphia’s status as the most dangerous city for pedestrians is unacceptable, and what makes things worse is that there are already laws on the books to protect pedestrians, but are simply not being enforced. Vision Zero is identifying areas where more crashes between vehicles and pedestrians occur in order to create safer streets for all multi-modal users including public transit riders, cyclists, and pedestrians.