Parents, Students Rally for Safety

Grant Burningham    As estimated 75 to 100 adults and children gathered on the steps of Alameda City Hall before last week’s Council Meeting to bring attention to the fact that already this school year seven children have been involved in traffic collisions.

City Council adopts Vision-Zero policy at Nov. 5 meeting

Up to 100 people took part in an “Alameda School Zone Safety Rally” at City Hall Nov. 5. Love Elementary School’s PTA joined with other schools, PTAs and student advocates from across the Island for the rally just before the City Council meeting. The group spoke to the Council and city staff, “so that these safety issues are addressed immediately to make our streets safe for students and to prevent further accidents.”

Council already had one item on the agenda intended to address the issue, which was approved. 

On Sept. 3, the Council adopted a referral that included a call for a Vision Zero policy declaring safety as a priority in designing and managing Alameda’s roadways. Previously adopted plans that also call for Vision Zero include the Transportation Choices Plan and the Safety and Noise Element in the General Plan. In addition, the recently awarded consultant contract for development of an Active Transportation Plan included the development of a Vision Zero Plan.

Vision Zero is a traffic safety strategy to help reduce and eventually eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries using a data-driven, multi-disciplinary and safe-systems approach that also increases safe, healthy and equitable mobility. In Alameda between 2011 and 2018 an average of two people died and 10 suffered severe injuries each year; more than half of the fatalities were older pedestrians. 

The approved Vision Zero Policy aims to reduce those numbers by declaring Vision Zero as the city’s guiding principle for transportation planning, design and maintenance, as well as directing specific implementation actions. The policy recognizes that while human error will always occur, a combination of education, enforcement and engineering measures can reduce collisions and prevent collisions from causing death or severe injuries.

At its Sept. 25 meeting the Transportation Commission unanimously recommended the Council adopt the Vision Zero Policy.