Vision Zero

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picture of a Kitchener road

When councillors and staff talk to Kitchener residents, one of the most common issues raised are concerns about speeding and road safety. We want to make roads, sidewalks and trails in Kitchener safer for all ages, abilities and modes of transportation.

Vision Zero is a new way of thinking about creating safer roads. Our goal is to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero. This concept started in Sweden in 1997 and has become popular around the world.

Here’s how Vision Zero strategies approach road safety:

  • focus on reducing fatal and serious injury collisions
  • collisions are preventable and no preventable loss of life is acceptable
  • human mistakes and errors should be expected and anticipated
  • our transportation network should be designed to account for human mistakes and errors
  • road safety is a shared responsibility among the people who design, maintain, enforce rules on and use roads and intersections
  • proactively address issues before collisions
Please help us to ensure that the Kitchener transportation network is safe and accommodates all ages, abilities and modes of transportation. The survey at the bottom of this page is the start of a conversation with Kitchener residents as we develop our Vision Zero strategy – we’re starting with simple questions about how often they use certain modes of transportation, and how safe they feel using each.

We’ll be using that feedback as well as our traffic and speed data to identify “hot spots” where a serious collision is more likely to occur. We want to understand the factors that create dangerous situations and eliminate them from our roadways.

Our Vision Zero strategy will have guidance on building and designing roads, supporting law enforcement, how to educate the public and solutions to the specific concerns in our neighbourhoods.

When councillors and staff talk to Kitchener residents, one of the most common issues raised are concerns about speeding and road safety. We want to make roads, sidewalks and trails in Kitchener safer for all ages, abilities and modes of transportation.

Vision Zero is a new way of thinking about creating safer roads. Our goal is to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero. This concept started in Sweden in 1997 and has become popular around the world.

Here’s how Vision Zero strategies approach road safety:

  • focus on reducing fatal and serious injury collisions
  • collisions are preventable and no preventable loss of life is acceptable
  • human mistakes and errors should be expected and anticipated
  • our transportation network should be designed to account for human mistakes and errors
  • road safety is a shared responsibility among the people who design, maintain, enforce rules on and use roads and intersections
  • proactively address issues before collisions
Please help us to ensure that the Kitchener transportation network is safe and accommodates all ages, abilities and modes of transportation. The survey at the bottom of this page is the start of a conversation with Kitchener residents as we develop our Vision Zero strategy – we’re starting with simple questions about how often they use certain modes of transportation, and how safe they feel using each.

We’ll be using that feedback as well as our traffic and speed data to identify “hot spots” where a serious collision is more likely to occur. We want to understand the factors that create dangerous situations and eliminate them from our roadways.

Our Vision Zero strategy will have guidance on building and designing roads, supporting law enforcement, how to educate the public and solutions to the specific concerns in our neighbourhoods.

  • FAQs

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    16 Oct 2020

    What is Vision Zero?

    It's a traffic safety strategy for preventing all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero is recognized around the world, starting in in Sweden in 1997.

    Why is the City of Kitchener developing a Vision Zero Strategy?

    Speeding and traffic safety are the top traffic concerns we hear from residents in the City of Kitchener. Serious injuries and fatalities are low in Kitchener roads, but none are acceptable.

    How is Vision Zero different from traditional road safety approaches?

    Vision Zero is a new way of thinking about creating safer roads:

    • focused on fatal and serious injuries - the traditional approach is to look at all collisions
    • no loss of life is acceptable
    • acknowledging that humans make mistakes, which we can anticipate and account for
    • road safety is a shared responsibility between the people who design, maintain and use the road

    Isn’t it impossible to prevent all serious injuries and fatalities on the road?

    Although eliminating all traffic related serious injuries and fatalities is challenging, we believe that no traffic deaths and serious injuries are acceptable. The City’s mission is to identify the road safety improvements required to lower the number of traffic serious injuries and deaths as much as possible with the vision of reaching zero.

    How can Vision Zero reduce the number of traffic related serious injuries and deaths?

    The Vision Zero approach has been proven around the world in reducing serious injuries and deaths.

    Road safety is improved through engineering, evaluation, engagement, education and enforcement improvements.

    What changes should we expect on streets as a result of this project?

    We are still identifying the improvements required to enhance road safety in Kitchener. Staff will also look into the experience of other municipalities to see what has worked best.

    How do you decide where to install road safety improvements?

    We will use traffic and collision data to identify priority locations.

    How do other City safety programs fit into the Vision Zero Strategy?

    There are many road safety efforts being undertaken by the City of Kitchener. We have:

    -seasonal, formal and resident-led traffic calming programs
    - Complete streets guidelines
    -40km/h Neighbourhood Speed Limit review project
    -separated cycling facilities project

    We will compare our current work against Vision Zero best practices to identify areas where we can improve.

    Who are you working with on this plan?

    We are working with:

    -other local municipalities in the area
    -Region of Waterloo
    -Waterloo Region Police Services
    -Region of Waterloo Health Services
    -Region of Waterloo School Board
    -City of Kitchener residents

    We will engage the public through a series of engagement events.

    Why does Vision Zero focus on active modes of transportation (walking and cycling)?

    Data shows pedestrians and cyclists are involved in more than their fair share of serious injuries and fatal collisions. Vision Zero focuses on most vulnerable road users.

    Will Vision Zero make it hard to get around the city?

    Our goal is to make sure getting around is safe and convenient for everyone, no matter how they travel.

    How can I get involved/stay updated?

    Click 'register' on the right-hand side of this page to stay up to date.

    I can’t fill out the survey online. What should I do?

    To request a paper copy of the survey, please contact Faranak Hosseini at:

    519-741-2200 ext 7665

    faranak.hosseini@kitchener.ca

    You will receive a pre-paid postage envelope along with the paper copy of the survey. You can use the pre-paid postage envelop to send back your responses. The address for sending back the completed survey is:

    Faranak Hosseini
    Transportation Planning Project Manager
    Transportation Services, 5th Floor
    200 King St W, Kitchener, ON
    N2G 4G7

    What is the end date for the survey?

    The survey will remain open until Monday Dec. 21, 2020.