What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is about saving lives on Alexandria's streets.
Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary, multi-national traffic safety concept that aims to achieve a transportation system with no deaths and serious injuries. It began in Sweden in 1997 and has since been adopted by other countries and cities around the world. The Vision Zero concept proposes that adopting communities recognize that traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable through proper engineering, enforcement, evaluation and education. Thus, when communities adopt Vision Zero programs they are, in effect, rethinking traffic safety and setting programs and aggressive timelines to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.
Vision Zero initiatives have been adopted by over 20 communities in the United States, including the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, Maryland. Vision Zero programs differ among communities in scale and approach but they all share some common elements including aggressive timelines to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries and the use of data-driven approaches to set strategic and measurable goals.
On January 24, 2017, the City of Alexandria adopted the Vision Zero resolution endorsing the concept and instructing the City Manager to develop an action plan for future consideration by Council. The City of Alexandria is the second city in the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt a Vision Zero policy.
Vision Zero Action Plan
Alexandria is building an Action Plan to achieve Vision Zero — Let's build an Action Plan that saves lives!
The City received over 1,000 responses to the Vision Zero Action Plan Survey online, Vision Zero Safety Map, and at six street meetings in the community. Thank you for sharing your feedback on challenges to safely moving around Alexandria. Your comments and suggestions will help the City build an Action Plan that makes Alexandria's streets safer for everyone. While the survey is closed, comments can still be provided to the project manager.
What is the Vision Zero Action Plan?
The Action Plan is how the City will achieve Vision Zero by 2028. The Action Plan is anticipated to be completed by Fall 2017 and will require approval by City Council.
- Data-Driven. The Action Plan will be based upon a comprehensive analysis of traffic deaths and serious injuries in Alexandria.
- Strategic. The Action Plan will identify the strategies necessary to achieve Vision Zero, as well as any associated funding.
- Equitable. The Action Plan will address the inequity in traffic deaths and serious injuries through a combination of equitable engineering, enforcement, education and evaluation.
- Community Driven. The Action Plan will be developed and implemented by an engaged community and its partners.
- Measurable. The Action Plan will require staff to provide an annual report to the Transportation Commission and City Council on implementation including progress toward eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2028.
- Multidisciplinary. The Action Plan will build on the existing successful partnerships between the following City agencies to achieve Vision Zero:
- Commonwealth Attorney's Office - City Manager’s Office
- Alexandria Police Department - Transportation and Environmental Services
- General Services - Alexandria Fire Department
- Alexandria City Public Schools - Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities
- Health Department - Office of Performance and Accountability
- Geographical Information Services - Office of Communications and Public Relations
- DASH (Alexandria Transit Company) - Planning and Zoning
- Office of Human Rights
Take the Pledge
Safer streets for Alexandria starts with you. Take the pledge to become a safer driver, bicyclist and pedestrian and help us achieve Vision Zero.
- I pledge to slow down and observe posted speed limits.
- I pledge to give pedestrians the right of way at all times.
- I pledge to keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road, not my phone.
- I pledge to be aware of people walking and riding their bikes.
- I pledge to never drink and drive.
- I pledge to stop at all red lights and stop signs.
- I pledge to obey the rules of the road when driving, walking and biking.
- I pledge I will always be responsible for my own safety and the safety of others.
Why Vision Zero?
Traffic deaths and serious injuries have been identified as a public health issue in Alexandria.
In 2016, there were four pedestrian deaths and 242 traffic-related injuries, up from one death in 2015, zero in 2014, and two in 2013. The increase in traffic deaths and serious injuries in Alexandria mirrors a national trend. In 2015, there were over 35,000 traffic deaths in the United States, up 7.2 percent from 2014 after a decade-long decline. The year-over-year increase from 2014 to 2015 is the largest single-year increase since 1966. Experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cite a significant increase in the total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) nationally and distracted driving as primary sources of this recent upward trend in traffic deaths and injuries.
In April 2016, the City adopted an amendment to the Transportation Master Plan (Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter) that includes a strategy to evaluate traffic deaths and develop a Vision Zero program that outlines an action plan framework and necessary resources. The goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries in Alexandria also aligns with the City's Strategic Goal of protecting the safety, health and security of its residents, businesses, employees and visitors.
News & Events
The Vision Zero team went out in the community to listen and understand the challenges to safely moving around Alexandria at the following unannounced street meetings:
- 6/7/2017 - T.C. Williams High School
- 5/30/2017 - Arlandria (3700 Mount Vernon Avenue & Cora Kelly Recreation Center)
- 5/25/2017 - Giant on South Van Dorn Street
- 5/23/2017 - Mark Center Transit Center
- 5/22/2017 - Braddock Road Metrorail Station
- 5/20/2017 - Old Town Farmers Market
Alexandria's Vision Zero Policy was recently discussed at the following meetings:
- 1/24/2017 - City Council - Adoption and Endorsement of Policy
- 1/18/2017 - Transportation Commission (Public Hearing) - Endorsed Policy
- 9/1/2016 - Transportation Commission - Policy development
- 9/8/2016 - Commission on Aging - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 9/14/2016 - Commission on Persons with Disabilities - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 9/19/2016 - Alexandria BPAC - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 9/26/2016 - Traffic and Parking Board - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 10/1/2016 - Federation of Civic Associations - Briefing
- 10/20/2016 - Health Advisory Committee - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 11/11/2016 - School Board - Briefing - Request comments on Policy
- 11/16/2016 - Transportation Commission Subcommittee - Review and edits of Policy
- 12/8/2016 - City Council Legislative Meeting - Oral Report on Pedestrian Safety
To learn more about traffic safety, the history of Vision Zero, and to review Vision Zero Action Plans from other jurisdictions, please review the resources below:
Vision Zero Background
- Vision Zero Network
- Vision Zero Network - Moving From Vision to Action: What Will it Take to Reach Vision Zero?
- Vision Zero Initiative - Swedish Vision Zero Website
- Washington Area Bicyclist Association - Vision Zero
- Dangerous by Design - Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition
- Achieving Multimodal Networks Applying Design Flexibility & Reducing Conflicts - Federal Highway Administration