Tag Archives: Vision Zero

Washington, D.C. Joins Vision Zero to Improve Bike Lane Safety

Capital building in Washington DC city at nightBy Tim Taylor

In recent years, Washington, D.C., has seen exponential growth, with more people than ever living, working, and visiting in the city. With that has come an increased demand for transportation and safety, especially for the most vulnerable commuters: those who use micro-mobility vehicles.

To properly adapt to the evolution of mobility and ensure the safety of its citizens, the city embarked on an ambitious project—joining Vision Zero, a program aimed at eliminating serious injuries and fatalities on its roadways—and received the 2021 Award of Excellence for Innovation in a Mobility, Transportation, or Parking Program in the process.

In essence, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Department of Transportation took a three-pronged approach to ensure the initiative’s success.

Through engineering, planners looked at how roadways were currently being used—where bike lanes existed, whether they were protected, where and to what extent they connected, and what construction was being done.

From there, they put together a plan to create new pathways, upgrade those already established, and connect them to best form routes that would allow commuters safe access to all parts of the city.

To ensure bike lane related rules were ultimately followed, the city was also able to garner the support of the Department of Public Works Parking Enforcement Management Administration (PEMA) to enforce non-parking compliance in bike lanes. PEMA turned to parking enforcement experts to implement camera technology and a ticket-by-mail system to effectively patrol the new lanes, discourage unsafe practices, and create a more efficient and reliable system for catching and ticketing scofflaw offenders.

In addition, to help change perception and driver behavior, project leaders even teamed up with the Metropolitan Police Department to help educate the public on reckless and dangerous driving, as well as how and where to use bikes, scooters, and other newer micro-mobility vehicles.

In the end, the award-winning effort helped to create a framework for establishing similar initiatives nationwide and set a new standard for safety on the capital’s roadways.

Tim Taylor is marketing manager at gtechna, a division of Harris Computer.

City of Eugene Parking Sponsors Safe Rides Home

By Jeff Petry

This New Year’s Eve, community members in the Eugene, Ore., metro area had more smart transportation options to choose from than ever before due to great collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit organizations. City of Eugene Parking Services was a sponsor of the Safe Rides Home effort along with Lyft, Oregon Taxi, and Uber.  The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation (BEST), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organized and promoted Safe Rides Home.  The Register-Guard newspaper recognized this collaborative partnership in a January 2 editorial.

Efforts like this help the City of Eugene move toward meeting its Vision Zero Traffic Safety goal that says no loss of life or serious injury on Eugene’s transportation system is acceptable. During the last four years, our county has suffered more traffic deaths than any other Oregon county. The 180 deaths in Lane County are higher than even Multnomah County, which has more than twice the total population. The primary contributors to these deaths are speed and driving impairment.

From 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve/Day, people were able to receive a $5 discount on a ride from Uber or Lyft or a $10 discount from Oregon Taxi using an app code. This promotion was available to everyone in the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. The sponsorship from the Eugene Parking Services program uses parking resources to promote a safer and more livable community.

Jeff Petry is parking and technology manager with the City of Eugene, Ore.