Motivated by the desire to reduce the danger of our roadways, citizens of Austin coalesced around the Vision Zero approach and have been working to provide information, change culture and influence policy. Membership is made up of individuals passionate about creating safe streets. We have partnered with numerous existing organizations throughout Austin.
There are so many people whose lives have been irreparably shattered by injury. It’s easy to imagine the “what ifs” when we experience trauma or a loss; and maybe today should be the day that “what if’s” time has come.
Vision zero is the simple idea that every death and serious injury in traffic is preventable. People will make mistakes, but those mistakes should not lead to anyone losing their life or being severely hurt.
Cities across the country – and the world – are embracing this vision and the early adopters have seen real success by addressing how their neighborhoods and roads are designed; by addressing the cultural habits they have related to traveling around; by addressing their enforcement tools for when people make dangerous decisions; and by addressing the research and data which help focus resources to provide the greatest good. This isn’t about Austin being a leader, but about our whole community doing the right thing. We need to quickly adopt smart policies which address traffic safety in proven ways, and we need everyone to have safe options to travel around town. We need to end the victim-blaming when somebody gets injured (people killed while walking in Austin are often in areas with no sidewalks and no safe road crossings for thousands of feet). Instead we must work hard on improving the physical, social, and legal systems to maximize the likelihood that people will be able to move around safely. For our leaders, there are tough choices they can and should make.
But what can we do as residents of this great community to stay safe and make a positive impact? When traveling, empathize with all those you encounter on your journey no matter how they are getting around. Make – and encourage others to make – choices with safety in mind. Demand that your leaders prioritize traffic safety in their decisions. And join the traffic safety conversation by engaging with the Vision Zero ATX community: