Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Prioritizes Roadway Safety with Launch of Vision Zero Atlanta

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms recently solidified a key pillar of her One Atlanta Strategic Transportation Plan by adopting a Vision Zero policy focused on eliminating traffic deaths and reducing crashes and serious injuries in the City of Atlanta. Yesterday, the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Vision Zero Strategic Transportation Plan proposed by Mayor Bottoms.

The One Atlanta plan was released in November 2019 during the public announcement of the city’s first dedicated Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) and the appointment of Josh Rowan as the new Commissioner.

“I am proud to announce that Atlanta has adopted a Vision Zero Strategic Transportation Plan that boldly commits the city to improving roadway safety and ending tragic traffic fatalities,” said Mayor Bottoms. “We envision Atlanta’s transportation network to be one where everyone can travel wherever they need to go safely, reliably and efficiently whether they are traveling on our roads, sidewalks, bike lanes or transit system.”

Under the direction of the ATLDOT, the implementation of Vision Zero will begin with the creation of a Vision Zero Task Force.  The working group will develop a comprehensive Vision Zero Action Plan identifying specific data-driven strategies and actions to achieve the zero fatalities goal and make Atlanta’s roads safer through a greater understanding of our streets. The Vision Zero Action Plan will be based on the U.S. National Safety Council’s “6E Road Safety Framework” (Equity, Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Emergency Response), which emphasizes the use of data and technology to maximize outcomes.

The new Vision Zero legislation also includes a citywide ordinance lowering the default speed limit on local roads in Atlanta to 25 miles per hour for the purpose of improving public health and safety. Vehicular speed plays a critical role in the frequency and severity of crashes. Speed contributed to 52 percent of the 73 traffic fatalities recorded in 2019. Lowering the speed limit on Atlanta’s streets will improve safety of all travelers, including children, the elderly, minorities and low-income persons, pedestrians, cyclists, and those using scooters and other mobility devices.

In the six months since the formation of the ATLDOT, the city has been busy tackling safety issues and moving on key transportation projects, including the Action Plan for Safer Streets, which focuses on implementing a complete network of connected and protected bike lanes through quick-build projects. As the city moves even further toward its goals by adopting a Vision Zero program, ATLDOT will continue to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive Atlanta by declaring that the city will do everything possible to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on city streets.