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Worcester Launches Vision Zero Safety Action Plan

For Immediate Release: 2/20/2024 4:51 pm

– City Manager Eric D. Batista, along with the municipality’s Department of Transportation & Mobility, announced Tuesday the launch of the Vision Zero Safety Action Plan, a bold new commitment to road safety. The plan kicks off with a “State of Our Streets” event featuring “Walkable City” author Jeff Speck and city officials on Feb. 29 at the Jean McDonough Arts Center.

Utilizing a grant from the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, the City will develop a plan of prioritized actions and policies that will focus the municipality’s approach to road design and management on the goal of eliminating serious injuries and deaths on Worcester’s streets.

“In the past five years, 43 people were killed and 478 were seriously injured in crashes on roadways in Worcester, causing immense trauma to families in our community,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “This is unacceptable. The Vision Zero Safety Action Plan is a critically important step to implement best-practices for improved safety management of our streets.”

According to the USDOT, compared to 2020, roadway deaths increased by more than 10% in 2021. Vision Zero is a movement that believes even one traffic death is too many and that traffic deaths are preventable. More than just a slogan, Vision Zero is a fundamentally different way of approaching traffic safety.

By recognizing that people will inevitably make mistakes, Vision Zero uses the Safe System approach to build a series of policies and programs to prevent crashes from happening in the first place and minimize the harm from crashes that do occur. The focus of Vision Zero is less about encouraging people to act differently or increasing enforcement, and more about designing roadways so that people, especially vulnerable users – those on the outside of vehicles – are not exposed to deadly force. Learn more about the Safe System Approach here:

The plan will have two main components: (1) a Citywide Action Strategy to address Vision Zero goals through policy and systems changes and (2) a data-driven High Injury Network Action Strategy to address location‐specific safety issues on the small fraction of Worcester roads that represent the most frequent and severe crashes. A focus on equity will guide the plan and its implementation. The burden of traffic violence falls disproportionately on overburdened and underserved communities across the city and we must work to change that outcome.

This important work requires a collaborative approach involving not just city departments but important partners including community organizations, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and most importantly residents. To do this, we will roll out three stages of engagement in 2024, where participants will be invited to share concerns and help define solutions, centered around saving the lives of people traveling in Worcester.

Join city officials and “Walkable City” author Jeff Speck for an inspiring and informative discussion that will kick-start the municipality’s efforts to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries across the City's transportation system.

Who: City officials, “Walkable City” author Jeff Speck
What: “State of Our Streets” / Vision Zero Safety Action Plan launch
When: Feb. 29, 2024, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Where: The Worcester BrickBox Theater at The Jean McDonough Arts Center, 20B Franklin S

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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