Bellevue's Vision Zero is an effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious-injury collisions on city streets by 2030. The Vision Zero Strategic Plan outlines how the city will achieve that goal.
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.
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 2019, more than 36,000 people were killed in crashes on roadways in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic 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. In Bellevue, 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.
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, and Bellevue maintains its own crash map portal with local statistics.
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.