Vision Zero

Click here to download our brand new Vision Zero Toolkit, released August 2015!
Our goal is to have zero deaths or life-altering injuries due to roadway design or user error in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Vision Zero began in 1997 in Sweden when the Parliament introduced a policy aimed to eliminate deaths and major injuries on their roads by 2020, with accompanying strategies. Vision Zero is the idea that every traffic collision is preventable, whether through engineering, education or enforcement. Since 1997, Sweden has been able to reduce their traffic fatalities by about 50%.

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) has always believed that safety is a key issue for people biking. Numerous studies show that there are four types of people biking: strong and fearless, enthused and confident, and interested but concerned, and no way, no how. It is typically the “interested but concerned” group that is the largest, and it is those people we must target when thinking of building infrastructure that will attract them to try riding a bike or creating new policies to support bicycling. The Office of Traffic Safety showed that there were 256 pedestrians injured or killed and 244 bicyclists injured or killed in San Mateo County in 2012; and 577 pedestrians injured or killed and 746 bicyclists injured or killed in Santa Clara County in 2012. However, studies show the injury rate to people biking decreases as rates of bicycling increases. Bicycling isn’t inherently more dangerous than driving or walking, but it is that perception that needs to be addressed.

In 2011, SVBC co-hosted a safety summit with Stanford Healthcare, who was concerned about the high rate of bicyclists who came into the trauma center with fatal or life-threatening injuries. Out of this meeting the Roadway Safety Solutions Team (RSST) was born, a coalition of diverse stakeholders with the purpose of overcoming the challenges of the multijurisdictional nature of Silicon Valley, helping to coordinate efforts between cities, and minimizing roadway user confusion. Since then, the RSST has been working on various projects focused on infrastructure, education and behavior, and enforcement to help further these goals.

In recent years, Vision Zero has gained momentum around the United States, with New York City and San Francisco adopting Vision Zero plans in 2014. In 2015, the United State Department of Transportation issued the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, challenging cities to address safety concerns on their roadways. Shortly after, the Vision Zero Act of 2015 was introduced in Congress, which would provide funding to cities that adopted a Vision Zero plan.

Click here to donate in support of our Vision Zero initiative.

Current programs:
The Commercial Vehicle Driver Training, offered by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to companies that utilize professional drivers for employee alternative transportation, provides information on best practices for driving large commercial vehicles when sharing the road with bicycles and pedestrians. We cover bicycling rules of the road, common causes of bicycle/vehicle/pedestrian conflict, anticipated bicyclist behavior in various situations, Bay Area-specific cases, and maneuvering skills for optimum predictability and collision prevention. This training is designed to improve safety and comfort for all users of the road.

Current Campaigns

Vision Zero Mountain View

Vision Zero San Mateo County

Vision Zero Santa Clara

Recent News

San José Tragedy Highlights Importance of Vision Zero

Sadly, another bicyclist died as a result of a traffic collision in South San José earlier this week, bringing the city’s total traffic fatalities to 34 – higher than we were at this time last year. The death is a sad reminder that we still have so much work to do to...

7th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit Recap

  Thank you to all who attended the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit. This year was the biggest year yet with 230 attendees and over 105 bikes parked! Did you miss it? Read on to catch up on all the day’s fascinating discussions. You can also view the...

Announcing Pedal2Health

One of the reasons we at SVBC do what we do is because the bike has the potential to solve so many of our community’s problems. Health, safety, air pollution, personal financial sustainability – all can be addressed through riding a bike for every day use. The bike is...

New Report: Protected Bike Lanes on El Camino Real

SVBC proudly introduces our report on Protected Bike Lanes on El Camino Real. Written and researched by our intern, Miguel Salazar, it collects and examines information on local and national protected bikeways projects. The report and accompanying factsheets combine reliable sources to better explain what a protected bike lane is, how and why protected bikeways are the safest treatment for the widest range of users, and the business and environmental benefits of protected bikeways.

7th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit Agenda

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is excited to invite you to the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit, hosted by Microsoft, this year on August 8. See below for the agenda and session topics. We look forward to seeing you! Register here:...

Highway 35 Bicycle Access Online Survey Now Open

Caltrans District 4 has released an online survey regarding bicycle access on the Highway 35 at Highway 1 following SVBC’s meeting with Caltrans staff last week and a now rescinded decision to prohibit bicyclists from this roadway segment.

Caltrans D4 May Close Segment of Highway 35 to Bicyclists

Image: Caltrans District 4's proposal to close Highway 35 to bicyclists from Westmoor Avenue to Hickey Boulevard. UPDATE: As of May 17, due to the outreach to Caltrans by people like you, the sign order to prohibit bicyclists was temporarily placed on hold. Continue...

San Jose Plans Two Years of Vision Zero Action

Kudos to the City of San Jose this week for approving the draft Vision Zero Two-Year Action Plan. The plan, approved by the city council’s Transportation & Environment Committee on Monday, lays out actionable steps the City will take over the next two years as it seeks to reach the goal of eliminating roadway fatalities and major injuries.

Speed Cameras Get Green Light From Privacy Committee

It was a small step for legislation, a huge win for roadway safety. Yesterday, the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee of the California State Assembly passed AB 342: the Safe Streets Act of 2017. As previously discussed on this blog, the legislation, authored by David Chiu, would enact a five-year pilot program allowing the cities of San Francisco and San Jose to use speed safety cameras in select areas. This is a crucial tool in our fight against the rising tide of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

Grim Numbers Discussed at Vision Zero Presentation

Nine pedestrians, one bicyclist, and one driver. Those were the grim fatality numbers my colleague Jaime Fearer, of California Walks, had featured on a slide for our joint presentation at SPUR earlier this week. Sadly, by the time we were in front of the lunchtime audience, another pedestrian fatality had already rendered the slide out-of-date. And now, as I write this post, I can unfortunately add another motorist to the list, bringing the death toll on San Jose’s roads to 13 for the first 95 days of 2017. There have been six homicides in the same period.

Support the Safe Streets Act of 2017

SVBC doesn’t usually get involved in State legislation. We have a statewide organization – CalBike – to do that and there’s plenty of work for us at the local level. However, this year we’re prioritizing an important bill that helps advance our Vision Zero work, because the bill is directly related to San Jose. Assembly Bill 342: the Safe Streets Act of 2017, authored by David Chiu, would enact a five-year pilot program allowing the cities of San Francisco and San Jose to use speed safety cameras in select areas.

Vision Zero

Click here to download our brand new Vision Zero Toolkit, released August 2015!

Our goal is to have zero deaths or life-altering injuries due to roadway design or user error in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Vision Zero began in 1997 in Sweden when the Parliament introduced a policy aimed to eliminate deaths and major injuries on their roads by 2020, with accompanying strategies. Vision Zero is the idea that every traffic collision is preventable, whether through engineering, education or enforcement. Since 1997, Sweden has been able to reduce their traffic fatalities by about 50%.

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) has always believed that safety is a key issue for people biking. Numerous studies show that there are four types of people biking: strong and fearless, enthused and confident, and interested but concerned, and no way, no how. It is typically the “interested but concerned” group that is the largest, and it is those people we must target when thinking of building infrastructure that will attract them to try riding a bike or creating new policies to support bicycling. The Office of Traffic Safety showed that there were 256 pedestrians injured or killed and 244 bicyclists injured or killed in San Mateo County in 2012; and 577 pedestrians injured or killed and 746 bicyclists injured or killed in Santa Clara County in 2012. However, studies show the injury rate to people biking decreases as rates of bicycling increases. Bicycling isn’t inherently more dangerous than driving or walking, but it is that perception that needs to be addressed.

In 2011, SVBC co-hosted a safety summit with Stanford Healthcare, who was concerned about the high rate of bicyclists who came into the trauma center with fatal or life-threatening injuries. Out of this meeting the Roadway Safety Solutions Team (RSST) was born, a coalition of diverse stakeholders with the purpose of overcoming the challenges of the multijurisdictional nature of Silicon Valley, helping to coordinate efforts between cities, and minimizing roadway user confusion. Since then, the RSST has been working on various projects focused on infrastructure, education and behavior, and enforcement to help further these goals.

In recent years, Vision Zero has gained momentum around the United States, with New York City and San Francisco adopting Vision Zero plans in 2014. In 2015, the United State Department of Transportation issued the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, challenging cities to address safety concerns on their roadways. Shortly after, the Vision Zero Act of 2015 was introduced in Congress, which would provide funding to cities that adopted a Vision Zero plan.

Click here to donate in support of our Vision Zero initiative.

Current programs:
The Commercial Vehicle Driver Training, offered by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to companies that utilize professional drivers for employee alternative transportation, provides information on best practices for driving large commercial vehicles when sharing the road with bicycles and pedestrians. We cover bicycling rules of the road, common causes of bicycle/vehicle/pedestrian conflict, anticipated bicyclist behavior in various situations, Bay Area-specific cases, and maneuvering skills for optimum predictability and collision prevention. This training is designed to improve safety and comfort for all users of the road.