SDOT reviews ‘Vision Zero’ plan aimed at decreasing traffic fatalities
The goal of the plan is to achieve zero traffic deaths by 2030. However, over the past five years, the number of traffic deaths has increased.
SEATTLE — The Seattle Department of Transportation has released a review of its “Vision Zero” plan. The goal is to eliminate road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
Although fatal crashes and pedestrian deaths were down slightly in 2022 from the previous year, overall, since 2018, the number of traffic deaths in Seattle has increased.
District 2 in Seattle, represented by Councilmember Tammy Morales, saw the highest number of fatal crashes and serious injuries involving pedestrians last year. SDOT data shows that 56% of fatal crashes and serious injuries involving pedestrians occur in District 2.
“Well, it has a lot to do with what we’ve seen, a lot to do with the shape of our streets,” said Devin Silvernail, District 2 policy director.
District 2 includes areas such as Rainier Beach, Columbia City, Chinatown-International, and Beacon Hill.
Last year, SDOT data showed that 93% of pedestrian deaths in Seattle occurred on long, straight, and wide roads — arterial roads. An example of that is Rainier Avenue South, which used to be Highway 167. WSDOT data shows a total of 139 collisions on Rainier Avenue South and 17 pedestrian collisions in 2022.
“When you’re running on the highway through a city, it’s really detrimental to people who are walking and biking,” Silvernail said.
SDOT sent KING 5 a statement that read: “High-speed multi-lane roads are where we see the majority of crashes that result in serious injury and death. We are continuing to look at methods to reduce speed and are looking to reduce the number of lanes on major multi-lane streets in cooperation with the mayor’s office. D2 [District 2] It has more miles of arterial roads and more lanes than any other council district and that contributes to D2 having the highest rates of fatal crashes and serious injuries.”
Silvernail said he and the rest of Councilmember Morales’ team believe that instead of enforcing more speed, the streets need to be redesigned
“If you design a street so that people can’t speed up, people won’t speed,” says Silvernail. “And I think that’s what we miss when we look at places like Aurora or 15th Avenue going into Ballard.”
According to SDOT’s “Vision Zero” Assessment, collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists accounted for 7% of all crashes last year. But they account for 61% of all fatal crashes. Of all accidents involving pedestrians, 35% are caused by cars turning at intersections. That’s why SDOT wants to implement “no red light” signs in the downtown area before summer, though Silvernail wants that change made in South Seattle as well.
“This is a good start, but we really need to take some dramatic action to limit the truly overwhelming number of crashes on our streets,” SIlvernail said.
SDOT leaders say road improvements are coming to SODO and Rainier Valley. As part of their “Vision Zero” plan, they will use $25 million from federal funding and $5 million from state funds to add new sidewalks, car lanes, and more. pedals, flashing lights at crosswalks, etc. for these areas.
Clock: Mayor Harrell’s Full State of the City 2023 Speech
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/sdot-vision-zero-deaths-increase/281-1b16f724-5caa-4afc-a1b8-e347504af920 SDOT reviews ‘Vision Zero’ plan aimed at decreasing traffic fatalities