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Mayor John Cooper Commits to Vision Zero to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities and Severe Injuries in Nashville

Chris Song

Today, Mayor John Cooper announced his administration’s commitment to Vision Zero to help eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries in Nashville and Davidson County. Mayor Cooper made the announcement during his remarks at the annual Walk Bike Nashville Pedestrian Memorial Event held on the steps of Historic Courthouse.

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero is gaining momentum in major American cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Vision Zero starts with the ethical belief that everyone has the right to move safely in their communities, and that system designers and policy makers share the responsibility to ensure safe systems for travel.

“This is an important commitment for our city – one made in honor of those who have lost their lives in traffic fatalities and to help protect future generations of Nashvillians,” said Mayor Cooper. “Nashville is currently ranked number one in the state for injury crashes, speed crashes, and crashes among young and senior drivers. We must do better, and our commitment to Vision Zero will play an important role in turning those numbers around. A great city is a walkable city, a bike-friendly city – one that shapes its transportation plan and mobility infrastructure around the safety and well-being of all residents and all modes of travel.”

Committing to Vision Zero requires the following strategies:

  1. Building and sustaining leadership, collaboration, and accountability – especially among a diverse group of stakeholders to include transportation professionals, policymakers, public health officials, police, and community members;
  2. Collecting, analyzing, and using data to understand trends and potential disproportionate impacts of traffic deaths on certain populations;
  3. Prioritizing equity and community engagement;
  4. Managing speed to safe levels; and
  5. Setting a timeline to achieve zero traffic deaths and serious injuries, which brings urgency and accountability, and ensuring transparency on progress and challenges.

Mayor Cooper also announced that 14 locations of concern for pedestrian and cyclist safety, identified by Walk Bike Nashville, have been added to his administration’s transportation plan for priority safety improvements. These locations include Church Street between 15th Ave N and 16th Ave N, Clarksville Pike between Buena Vista Pike and Cliff Dr, and Gallatin Pike between Eastland Ave and Chickamauga Ave. The administration is also examining dangerous vehicular intersections throughout Davidson County, such as Hickory Hollow Pkwy and Mt View Rd, Bell Rd and Cane Ridge Rd, and Broadmoor Dr & Dickerson Pike.

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Walk Bike Nashville

Walk Bike Nashville web site

Since 1998, Walk Bike Nashville has sought to make active transportation an option for Nashvillians, no matter where they live or where they're trying to go. We want our sidewalks and bikeways to support active living, additional commuting options, and recreational opportunities. We use a mix of educational programs focused on safety and skills, encouragement events for all ages and abilities, and grassroots advocacy to achieve our goals.

Vision Zero Network

Vision Zero Network web site

The Vision Zero Network is a collaborative campaign helping communities reach their goals of Vision Zero -- eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries -- while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. As a nonprofit project, the Vision Zero Network is committed to defining, building momentum, and advancing Vision Zero in communities across the U.S.