Bellevue’s Vision Zero effort reflects the city’s commitment to reduce traffic deaths and serious injury collisions on city streets to zero by the year 2030. In 2015, the City Council passed a resolution providing a framework to achieve this goal. In 2016, the City Council passed an ordinance adopting Vision Zero amendments into the city's Comprehensive Plan.
Crash map data
To achieve the 2030 goal, it’s important to understand the problem and to develop the right tools to address it. Knowing where, when and what type of collisions occur is critical to eliminating them. Bellevue has developed a crash map that allows for interactive searching of fatal and serious injury collisions on Bellevue streets over a 10-year period.
Vision Zero strategies
Bellevue has policies and programs intended to make streets safer for all modes of travel. Vision Zero goes further by tying together these efforts in a framework. Key elements include:
- Informing residents about traffic laws and safe behavior for travelers of all ages and abilities;
- Encouraging and incentivizing safe, positive behavior;
- Employing sound design techniques to make streets safer for all, especially the most vulnerable users;
- Ensuring that safety applies equitably to everyone, no matter what transportation mode is used or where in the city one is traveling; and
- Monitoring and evaluating progress, adjusting strategies when needed and celebrating successes.
Vision Zero instills a more holistic, comprehensive view regarding traffic fatalities and serious injuries: They are not inevitable. The goal of eliminating such collisions must be approached from the perspective that street design should emphasize safety, predictability and the potential for human error. Education and rigorous, data-driven enforcement also are needed.
Strategies needed to accomplish Vision Zero’s ambitious goal will be developed further in collaboration with the Transportation Commission and City Council.
One of the near-term actions to achieve Vision Zero’s goal is the implementation of projects identified in Bellevue’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Implementation Initiative. The Initiative includes specific projects to improve safety for people walking and biking on city streets.
Vision Zero originated in Sweden in the 1990s and its principles have since been adopted by numerous countries worldwide. The movement is founded on the belief that deaths and serious injuries on city streets are unacceptable and preventable. In 2017, more than 37,000 people were killed in crashes on roadways in the United States, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, so the potential for saving lives is great.
The vision can be achieved by bringing together and fostering collaboration among transportation engineers and planners, police, policy makers, advocates, and users of the transportation system.
Bellevue’s Vision Zero effort aligns with the statewide Target Zero plan, which shares the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. The state Department of Transportation maintains a crash data portal with state and local statistics over a 10-year period.