Phoenix Approves Implementation of Special Program to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

Category: News
Published: 2022-09-12
Phoenix Approves Implementation of Special Program to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

PHOENIX, AZ – The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a comprehensive Vision Zero Traffic Safety Action Plan and the allocation of US$10 million in annual funding for its implementation.

According to local officials, traffic fatalities have been increasing in Phoenix for many years, and the Roadway Safety Action Plan creates a data-driven decision-making process to identify and prioritize transportation safety improvements through the use of 41 actionable strategies.

The Plan’s goal is to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Phoenix to zero by 2050, and connects with Vision Zero’s philosophy that such incidents are preventable. The Plan also incorporates five priority items: Assessment, Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Equity.

“My commitment to the people of Phoenix is to make our roadways safer, whether on foot, by bike or by car,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “The approved action plan puts the city in a much better position to access federal dollars that will amplify our investment, making it possible to bring new safety infrastructure to even more of our neighborhoods.”

In addition to its 41 strategies, the Road Safety Action Plan also identifies a series of 31 performance measures tied to achieving the goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2050. These benchmarks include a 25% reduction in traffic fatalities by 2027 and a 65% reduction by 2035.

Also, the plan is the result of the concerted efforts of staff from multiple city departments, traffic design and technology experts, and outside partners who listened to and discussed community needs, explained Debra Stark, Ward 3 councilmember and chair of the City Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Planning Subcommittee.

The City Council decision also approved the formation of a Vision Zero Community Advisory Committee, which will provide feedback and recommendations on how the Plan is facilitated. The committee will consist of 11 members of the public, appointed by the Mayor and City Council members, who will receive quarterly updates on the implementation of the project.

The Road Safety Action Plan is the culmination of an extensive planning effort that included a detailed five-year crash analysis (2016-2020), and a two-phase public engagement process that resulted in more than 5 thousand comments from residents on road safety.

“Developing and implementing a comprehensive Road Safety Action Plan is the department’s top priority,” said Street Transportation Director Kini Knudson. “I am grateful for the support of Mayor Gallego and the City Council toward this critical initiative. I would also like to acknowledge the focused work of my staff and consultants in its development. Improving roadway safety is a community effort and the Urban Transportation Department is dedicated to the task of reversing recent trends and improving safety for all.”

The US$10 million per year to implement the plan comes from US$3 million allocated from the city’s general fund, US$2 million from Transportation 2050 (T2050) and US$5 million from the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF).

In March 2021, the City Council unanimously approved funding for the development of the Plan, and in January 2022 approved incorporating Vision Zero goals into the Plan.