Page 8 - Sonoma County Gazette June 2019
P. 8

PEDESTRIANS cont’d from page 1
To gain Vision Zero status a jurisdiction is required to set a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.
  Vision Zero programs also reframe the way traffic fatalities are discussed and how solutions are approached.
“Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities,” according to the Vision Zero Network’s website.
If funded, county staff would coordinate a “planning process across all jurisdictions within Sonoma County,” in contrast to the current approach to traffic safety improvements, which can seem piecemeal.
  “Successful Vision Zero initiatives in other cities cite the importance of having access to accurate, timely, and comprehensive data sets containing injury and crash data. Currently, it’s difficult to get a complete view of the safety issues in Sonoma County due to the lack of a robust data framework,” the county’s funding application states.
San Francisco’s Vision Zero program splits efforts to eliminate fatalities into four categories: enforcement, education, engineering and evaluation.
Steve Birdlebough, a local transportation activist with the Sonoma County Transportation and Land Use Coalition, agrees that a more data-driven approach could help agencies offer improvements in a more uniform manor.
Under the current system, infrastructure improvements seem to be awarded based on how organized and angry neighbors are rather than on empirical data, according to Birdlebough.
“No changes are made unless the neighbors get up in arms,” Birdlebough said. “[The process] seems random.”
  Santa Rosa Crosswalk
Sonoma County Differences
Sonoma County has higher rate of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities than the Bay Area at large.
 In 2016, there were 8.8 traffic fatalities per 100,000 population in Sonoma County compared with 5.9 in the Bay Area overall, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission citied in the application.
PEDESTRIANS cont’d on page 9
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