Vision Zero Network will feature seven Green Lane Project alumni cities

January 26, 2016

Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer


Polk Street, San Francisco. Photo: Sergio Ruiz via Streetsblog SF.

A new network dedicated to the concept of eliminating preventable traffic fatalities is rich with Green Lane Project expertise.

Seven of the Green Lane Project's 12 past and present focus cities will also be part of the new Vision Zero Focus Cities network announced Tuesday.

Vision Zero is the concept, first developed in Sweden but increasingly popular in the United States, that road systems and their designers bear partial responsibility for every traffic death, and that governments can take steps such as speed reduction and physical separation to eliminate virtually all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Here's the Vision Zero Network's list of focus cities, with past or present Green Lane Project focus cities in bold:

Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Los Angeles, CA
New York City, NY
Portland, OR
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Washington, D.C.

In an interview last week, Vision Zero Network director Leah Shahum said their method was inspired in part by the model developed by the Green Lane Project to accelerate transportation innovation by focusing efforts on the country's leading cities.

"With so much interest in Vision Zero across the country now, we're really taking a lesson from Green Lane Project's playbook," Shahum said.

As with the Green Lane Project, the Vision Zero Network will support peer exchanges and communications among those cities. But Shahum (who saw the Green Lane Project's work up close in her previous role as executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) said the greater benefit to participating cities may be more subtle.

"There's obviously a practical value in that peer exchange aspect of this work," Shahum said. "But in addition there's I would say a strong benefit of moral support amongst these cities that really are ahead of the curves. ... Sometimes it's not easy for leaders within a city to step outside that box and try new and innovative things. They're not always rewarded for that at the city level. So it does really help to have that network of peers cheering you on, supporting you, answering the tough questions and just proving that you're not alone in this work."

As the Green Lane Project prepares to invite a possible third round of its own focus cities to continue advancing low-stress bike infrastructure networks, we'll be eager to follow the ongoing safety work of our friends in all these cities.

The Green Lane Project helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook or sign up for our weekly news digest about protected bike lanes. Story tip? Write michael@peopleforbikes.org.

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