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.

Our strategy

In March 2020, council directed staff to develop a Vision Zero strategy. We want to reduce the harm of potential collisions or other human mistakes by making our roads safer. We recognize that we need to make improvements that will contribute to safer roads, vehicles, speeds and road user behaviours.

Through a Vision Zero strategy, we aim to minimize the risk of traffic related serious injuries or fatalities in our community.

We expect to complete the Vision Zero strategy by the end of 2021. The strategy will include specific road safety improvement action items under these categories:

  • evaluation    
  • engineering    
  • enforcement    
  • education    
  • engagement

To develop the strategy, staff will work closely with various stakeholders such as 

  • Region of Waterloo    
  • Waterloo Regional Police Services    
  • Public Health    
  • Grand River Transit

There are significant road safety efforts being undertaken within the City by multiple departments and agencies.  A few examples being the traffic calming programs, 40km/h neighbourhood speed limit pilot project, the separated bike lanes, etc. We will compare these efforts against best practices to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

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