Policy: Vision Zero SF

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What it does: 

Modeled after Sweden’s successful policy goal to eliminate all traffic-related deaths, the City and County of San Francisco adopted the "Vision Zero" policy in 2014 to create a culture focusing on road safety and social equity. Vision Zero SF is an interagency collaboration between local city agencies, departments, elected officials and community based organizations ensuring that when people make mistakes on the streets the result is not serious injuries or death. 

Goals: 

The goal of Vision Zero SF is to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024. The policy aims to protect the city’s most vulnerable road users by educating the public on traffic safety, enforcing traffic laws, and prioritizing resources to implement effective initiatives that save lives.

Cost & Financing: 

The policy influences how funds from Proposition A ($500 million bond), Proposition B ($208 million), and Proposition K (half-cent local sales tax) contribute to Vision Zero efforts. Efforts are also financially supported by the State Transportation Improvement Program–Transportation Enhancement program (STIP-TE), the Office of Traffic Safety, the Active Transportation Program, and other regional, state and federal sources. 

Outcomes: 

The San Francisco Department of Public Health developed TransBase, an open platform database, as a way to measure performance of the policy. It is a data repository linking transportation injury related data from multiple agencies with community and environment factors.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health identified the Vision Zero High Injury Network (VZ HIN).[1] VZ HIN is the 12% of the street network, 125 miles, where over 70% severe and fatal injuries occur. Almost half of those miles are located in disadvantaged neighborhoods. With this data driven approach, San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency, Department of Public Works, and Planning Department are collaboratively prioritizing improvements along the VZ HIN. As a result, SF MTA is expediting over 24 street engineering projects.[2]

The Police Department implemented a citywide enforcement initiative: the "Focus on the Five." It targets the five most dangerous traffic violations that contribute to traffic injuries and deaths resulting in a 60% increase to traffic citations from 2013 to 2014. The five violations are the following:

  1. Speeding
  2. Running red lights
  3. Running stop signs
  4. Violating pedestrians’ right-of-ways in crosswalks
  5. Failing to yield to pedestrians while turning

The education campaign, "Safe Streets SF," raises awareness about driver violations of pedestrian right-of-way and helping drivers understand that all intersections are considered crosswalks where pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Other city agency efforts towards Vision Zero SF can be tracked here. Other city agencies include: Mayor’s Office, Board of Supervisors, County Transportation Authority, Department of the Environment, Department of Public Works, District Attorney, Fire Department, Planning Department, and Unified School District.

(Note: Vision Zero SF will be reporting fatalities and severe injuries for the first year, 2014, in the beginning of September.)

[1] Vision Zero High Injury Network map, based on California Highway Patrol, Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System's 2008-2012 collision/injury data

[2] Vision Zero Capital Improvement Projects, San Francisco map

Key Contacts: 

Name Organization Phone Number E-mail
Megan Wier San Francisco Department of Public Health (415) 252-3972 megan.wier@sfdph.org
Timothy Papandreou San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (415) 701-4333 timothy.papandreou@sfmta.com
Nicole Ferrara Walk SF (415) 431-9255 nicole@walksf.org

Megan Wier and Timothy Papandreou are the co-chairs of the Vision Zero Task Force where the Vision Zero Steering Committee (composed solely of government entities) and the Vision Zero Coalition (composed solely of community based organizations) come together. Nicole Ferrara leads the Vision Zero Coalition.

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Last Updated 8/21/15 | Written By Mimi Tam