Last Monday, May 4, the City of San José announced it is refocusing its annual traffic safety report and moving forward with a Vision Zero plan (PDF). The plan, signed on to by Department of Transportation Director Hans Larsen, Chief of Police Larry Esquivel, and Mayor Sam Liccardo, outlines current efforts to improve engineering, education, enforcement, and outreach, and adds an emphasis on technology, policy, and partnerships.
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition was specifically called out in the Partnerships section, along with other community-based groups and agency partners that promote safety as a goal. We have also been asked to partner with California Walks to co-chair a task force, led by Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, that will conduct community outreach meetings and strategy sessions in San José neighborhoods that have been most affected by traffic violence.
The announcement of a Vision Zero goal was big news – roadway deaths now significantly outnumber homicides in San José. We’re excited to tackle this problem alongside our partners at California Walks, with support from city agencies, our elected leaders, and the police department. San José has done a great job at improving its built environment for bicyclists and pedestrians in recent years. Now its time to identify the biggest threats to safety and begin eliminating them so that people feel more confident choosing to travel by foot or by bike.