Vision Zero is the swedish approach to traffic safety that follows a single tenant of traffic safety
No loss of life is acceptable.
Vision Zero proposes that humans will fail, therefore the traffic system should expect failure, and ensure that human error is not fatal. Vision Zero proposes that traffic safety be implemented through roadway design changes.
Vision Zero is a laudable goal, one that I am 100% behind. However, the City of Edmonton, despite officially setting Vision Zero as their goal, is still stuck in the old ways of thinking. Ad campaigns blame vulnerable users when they get hurt.
Instead of spending on roadway improvements that are proven to work, we spend on superfluous apps that no one wanted.
Vision Zero will require safe spaces for every mode of transportation. That's why you'll always find me staunchly supporting bicycle and walking infrastructure. However, we can't blanket the entire city in separated cycling infrastructure overnight (or even in a single term). We need to update laws and specifically enfranchise people who bike with their own rules and regulations. Vehicular cycling doesn't work. The Traffic Safety act simply omitting bicycles from the language and thinking "everything will be fine" does not work.
It's time to get serious about Vision Zero. Obviously, we cannot improve the entire system in a day, but we can start by acknowledging where we're lacking, instead of ignoring it. When collisions occur, especially if vulnerable users are included, first and foremost city releases should include what roadway design failed to allow the situation to occur. Next, we need to act proactively prevent those design issues from causing harm in other places on our roadway system, before we have a death or injury there.
When we improve the road for all users, we make it a better place to be for all users, drivers of cars included. Collisions are a massive burden on our public system, from the inconvenience of road closures, to the police response time, to the public health dollars required to care for the injured. Reducing collisions isn't just a moral imperative, it's fiscally responsible.
Let's make Vision Zero a reality.
Elect Troy Pavlek to Edmonton City Council in Ward 11.