Vision Zero is a community commitment to eliminating loss of life and major injuries on roadways.
The Anchorage Vision Zero Initiative is based on a data-driven approach to understanding traffic safety issues and prioritizing resources based on evidence of the greatest needs and impact. Kittelson is leading this effort through the identification of dominant crash patterns and trends to understand where, why, and how crashes are happening in Anchorage, Alaska. Based on those findings, roadways have been analyzed to identify the high injury network based on safety performance. The Action Plan and implementation focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals to facilitate a culture shift in thinking from “traffic fatalities and serious injuries are unavoidable” to “they are preventable.”
Based on findings and national best practices, Kittelson developed implementable and measurable actions tailored around the Safe Systems Approach – all parts of the system must be strengthened in order to save lives. This requires a multidisciplinary approach involving agency collaboration, engineering, education, enforcement and community engagement to achieve measurable improvement in traffic safety. In addition, Kittelson developed a countermeasure toolbox for the Municipality of Alaska (MOA) to aid in area-wide application of low-cost countermeasures that address bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle safety. This toolbox allows MOA staff to quickly identify potential safety improvements based on a location’s characteristics, along with any documented crash patterns. Kittelson’s plan involved an inclusive process with targeted outreach to the most vulnerable populations identified by the data.
Another Step Towards Vision Zero In Anchorage, Alaska
Kittelson’s research, analysis, and community engagement informed the resulting recommended solutions, which include safety engineering, updating of legal codes, enforcement policy revisions and public education and will contribute to creating safer streets and better general awareness. Kittelson is facilitating a Vision Zero Core Working Group and Task Force Advisory Committee to sustain the program and implement planned projects, including an annual progress report, an intercept survey of people walking, public messaging campaign, demonstration projects, and an inclusive educational community outreach program.