On Saturday, May 15, the Arlington County Board voted 5-0 to adopt a five-year Vision Zero Action Plan. The goal of Vision Zero is to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries within the County by 2030. The Action Plan is the culmination of nearly 2 years of community engagement and planning by Transportation staff and working groups representing communities across the County.
On average, four traffic fatalities occur per year in the County, along with 55 severe crashes. Utilizing the Vision Zero Action Plan, Arlington will combine a variety of identified strategies to make the County a safer place to travel.
“Everything from built environment to education was considered – and everyone from civic associations to the fire department was brought in to help consult on this undertaking,” said Hui Wang, Bureau Chief of Transportation Engineering & Operations, Department of Environmental Services.
What is Vision Zero
Vision Zero – as implemented in communities across the world – is a multifaceted strategy to reduce traffic fatalities and severe injuries for people walking, biking, driving or taking transit.
The overarching approach includes extensive safety analysis and evaluation to improve roadways, bike lanes and walkways; education and engagement with the community and partners on traffic safety; and automated enforcement measures to make roads safer for everyone.
“One of the main goals of Vision Zero is to foster a community culture of safety—ensuring that our county’s transportation system is safe for everyone, no matter who they are, where they live, or how they get around,” said Department of Environmental Services Director Greg Emanuel. “This action plan lists specific commitments taken on by the County, our partners, and community to achieve our transportation safety goals and objectives defined in our resolution.”
The Action Plan is a living document that will be updated and evolve with new circumstances and needs. Since Vision Zero is based on transparency and flexibility, this plan reflects these principles.
Vision Zero in Arlington
The County Board committed to Vision Zero with a resolution in July 2019, setting in motion the planning for and engagement around improving all aspects of transportation safety. A group of interdepartmental staff met monthly and worked together to refine the draft action plan based on community feedback.
The County partnered with civic associations, advocacy groups and regional, state and federal agencies to form a network of working groups – each tackling key safety issues from their unique perspectives.
Vision Zero does not just focus on Arlington’s roadways. The plan is multimodal – looking into all means of transportation within the County, including Metrorail and buses, ART buses and emergency services. Overall, Vision Zero represents a $16 million investment in programs and infrastructure over the next decade.
How to Stay Involved
View the interactive Vision Zero Crash Dashboard, which illustrates crashes that occurred in Arlington and were reported by either local or state police officers.