COLUMBIA – Recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Pedestrian Safety is the focus of a Vision Zero World Café meeting at City Hall Wednesday afternoon. Vision Zero is a new policy adopted by City Council with the goal of reducing pedestrian fatalities to zero by the year 2030.
“Vision Zero is basically a way of thinking about how we design our road systems. It is a philosophy of how we design these systems with the result of zero fatalities or injuries,” Vision Zero project manager Heather Cole said.
Cole said Vision Zero uses the last decade as a point of reference to highlight future improvement.
“In the last 10 years we’ve seen I want to say 68 fatalities and 454 severe injuries in the last 10 years so per capita that’s a pretty high number,” Cole said.
This is the second public meeting Vision Zero has held, the first focusing on “education” and Wednesday’s meeting focusing on “enforcement.”
“With enforcement recommendations we will look into reducing speed zones in some areas, increasing training for our officers, cyclists and pedestrian training for them and that kind of stuff,” Cole said.
Anyone is welcome to the meeting, as all the meetings are designed to be a back and forth between the public and City Council to forward each of the three main ideas of improvement, education, egineering, and enforcement.
“All of our meetings will be done in an hour as it’s a fast paced moving discussion with the brainstorming method we use,” Cole said.
The recommendations from the Mayor's Task Force on Pedestrian Safety and the public feedback recieved at the meetings both go into the creation of the final action plan.
The following are examples of public recommendations from the first meeting of Vision Zero:
- Considering a partnership with CPS to build a driver's education course into the curriculum for that age group or offering a student level course that is an after school or summer school fee based course for drivers ed
- Provide education on confusing traffic safety improvements through various methods of outreach: City newsletter, press, reader boards, etc.
- Focus an outreach campaign on impaired driving & provide more easy alternatives to get home from a bar
Vision Zero and the City Manager have set April 30th as the day to submit the final action plan to increase overall road user safety.