The City of Toledo has launched a community-wide initiative to eliminate traffic and pedestrian deaths, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, Council Member Sam Melden, and Commissioner of Transportation Sean Burnett announced today.
“Successful cities make sure they are walkable, safe for pedestrians, and bike-friendly,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “We are starting an effort today to shape our transportation strategies and infrastructure around safety and wellbeing for every person in Toledo, and an important part of that is to prioritize safe street design.”
Like other cities across the nation, Toledo is now committed to Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities, promote multi-model travel, and increase safety, the mayor said.
“We want to hear from motorists, pedestrians, public transit users, and bicyclists in a community survey running on our website, and we are also asking Toledo residents to promote safe driving by placing one of our ‘slowdown’ yard signs in their front yards,” the mayor said.
Toledo is committed to achieving Vision Zero status, said Toledo City Council Member Sam Melden.
“This is a community-wide problem, which is faced by many other cities, and it will take a community-wide solution,” Mr. Melden said. “This is a call to action for all Toledoans to make our streets safer. I am asking all Toledoans to take the pledge to reduce the number of deaths of our neighbors, family members, and friends to zero by 2031. In order for this to be successful, our efforts must be collaborative and proactive. Everyone needs to be a part of this, including public service, law enforcement, and our residents, who I know want to reduce the number of roadway fatalities.”
The pledge and more information can be found at toledo.oh.gov/zero.
Mr. Burnett said traffic fatalities are on pace this year to double the city’s annual average.
“An average of 26 people lose their lives in traffic crashes in Toledo every year,” he said. “Vision Zero is not just about more bike lanes or lowering speed limits. At its core, it is a fundamental reorientation of how transportation is approached in both policy and built environmental design. Where traditional traffic engineering maintains acceptable risk thresholds, Vision Zero is a decision to hold so-called acceptable risk to zero.”
Toledo’s Vision Zero resolution creates a city task force, assembled from critical members of many different departments across the city, in order to focus on crafting creative solutions to challenging problems. Vision Zero awards Toledo the opportunity as a community to create an action plan that includes the concerns of all roadway users, while holding them all equal in import.