Vision Zero is for All Chicagoans
All of Chicago will benefit from safer streets. Vision Zero is a renewed, coordinated effort to build connections between traffic safety, economic development, and community-building efforts that happen citywide. The City will continue to develop policies and pursue local, state and federal funding opportunities that support a safe transportation system.
The interim benchmarks for this three-year period (2017-2019) have been established to put Chicago on target to eliminate death and serious injury from traffic crashes by 2026.
Action Plan Benchmarks
Reduce deaths from traffic crashes 20% citywide by 2020.
Reduce serious injuries from traffic crashes 35% by 2020.
Preventable serious injuries and deaths from traffic crashes pose a public health concern to all Chicagoans. Vision Zero is one strategy for increasing health outcomes through improvements to the built environment. Throughout the community engagement process, City agencies must consider the impact that their programs have on health and safety priorities, in accordance with the City’s “Health in All Policies”
Many of the strategies in the Vision Zero Action Plan rely on designing streets that are safe for all Chicagoans, whether they choose to drive, take public transit, walk, or ride a bicycle to get around. This builds upon the last five years of planning for a safe and healthy city.
Chicago is a national leader on Complete Streets, following a modal hierarchy that places pedestrian safety first in the way streets are designed, because a street that is safer for the most vulnerable roadway user is safer for everyone. Since the adoption of the Complete Streets policy, the City has installed over 100 pedestrian refuge islands, bump-outs at over 200 intersections, pedestrian countdown timers at over 1,700 of the City’s 3,000 signalized intersections, leading pedestrian intervals at over 150 signalized intersections,
tens of thousands of ADA ramps, almost 250 miles of various types of on-street bikeways, and thousands of street trees.
Moving forward, the City will look at how the design process can go further, on every project, in every community. As a policy, the Chicago Department of Transportation will review speed limits during roadway projects and design streets at speeds safer for all users. The City will also conduct a study and work with communities to determine if changes to the statutory speed limit are required.
The City is committed to using its regulatory powers to make streets safer, starting with the City’s own fleet and employees. Enhanced safety equipment, including mirrors and truck side guards for large vehicles, will be required to prevent crashes and protect vulnerable roadway users. The City will continue to pursue equipment, technology, and training curriculum that improve safety.
The Vision Zero Action Plan does not use increased traffic citations as a metric for success. Chicago is committed to working with partner organizations throughout the City to ensure that police engagement on traffic safety is done fairly and with community support, and is focused on preventing the most dangerous driving behaviors on Chicago’s streets, prioritizing education and positive outcomes in all interactions.
All Chicagoans have the right to safe streets. Vision Zero cannot just address traffic crashes, but must also consider the disparity of where crashes occur and who they impact. The City commits to prioritizing equity in all programs and policies pursued under Vision Zero. The City will also ensure that major Vision Zero outreach materials are available in the most common languages spoken in Chicago: English, Spanish, Polish, and Mandarin.
Continue to prioritize existing resources for Complete Streets investments, and seek out additional funding sources, including competitive grants and potential new revenue streams, to advance necessary infrastructure investments expeditiously.