Vision Zero

Legs and Feet of Person Crossing the Street in a Crosswalk

Every year, over 40,000 people are killed and many more are seriously injured on roads in the United States. In Worcester, too many people have lost their lives on our streets. This is simply unacceptable. Starting this year, the City of Worcester is approaching transportation safety in a new way. That approach is called Vision Zero.

On February 29, 2024, City leadership was joined by author and urban planner Jeff Speck for the inspiring and informative State of Our Streets Forum. This event served as a kick-off to the City's Vision Zero efforts. If you weren't able to make the event, please view the State of Our Streets Forum Video Presentation.

What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is an international street safety movement dedicated to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways. Vision Zero is based on the belief that:

  1. Traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable and unacceptable.
  2. Humans make mistakes. Our transportation system should be designed so those human errors do not result in death or severe injury.
  3. Humans are vulnerable. It is critical to design and operate a transportation system that is human-centric and recognizes those vulnerabilities.
  4. Responsibility is shared. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that crashes don't lead to serious injuries or death.
  5. Safety is Proactive. Rather than waiting for a crash to happen and reacting afterwards, we should use all tools available to identify and mitigate the risks of crashes before they happen.
  6. Redundancy is Crucial. All elements of transportation safety should be strengthened so that if one part fails, the others still protect people.
Wheel Chart Graphic Showing the Beliefs of the Safe System Approach

Vision Zero shifts how we approach transportation safety using the "Safe System" approach. This approach makes safety the highest priority and is driven by the belief that even one fatality on our roads is too many.

How Do We Get to Zero?

Through a Safe Streets for All (SS4A) grant received from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the City is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the existing road network to develop a strategic, effective and actionable safety action plan that provides the tools to achieve Vision Zero.

This Plan is crucial to acting on the City's commitment to the elimination of fatalities and serious injuries from across the transportation system to create safe, equitable and sustainable mobility for all. Ultimately, this plan will help the City identify projects, policies, programs and strategies to make Vision Zero a routine part of City operations across all departments.
Throughout this process, the team will unveil:

  • Where safety incidents are occurring for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
  • What conditions or challenges influence how people choose their travel routes.
  • How the conditions of street infrastructure contribute to unsafe behavior.
  • Whether existing policies are inhibiting best practices and proven measures to achieve a more safe and equitable road system.

The Vision Zero Safety Action Plan process will include data collection, comprehensive analysis and engagement with community members to inform the development of short-term recommendations and a toolbox for the City to continue the Vision Zero strategy long-term.

Get Involved

We want to hear from you! Please visit our Online Webmap to show us where you have specific safety concerns.

We are scheduling more events around the City. Check back soon for more information.

Contact Information

Transportation & Mobility
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300 ext. 49500
Fax: 508-453-2888
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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