Vision Zero and the Bay Area Response: Traffic Fatalities and Perceptions of Pedestrian Safety in Local Politics and Public Policy
In this study, I examine how the “Vision Zero” traffic safety plan has been implemented in the cities of San Francisco and San Jose and, employing qualitative interviews, I explore the perceptions of local elected officials and community leaders of local advocacy groups to understand their emergent appraisals of how effectively the policy is working, as well as assess the political implications and impact of the initiative. I find that local elected leaders have a range of perceptions, but the majority of local elected leaders and community leaders agree that getting more cars off the road, improving public transportation, and switching to rapid build model for infrastructure improvements can greatly reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities. There is also a consensus among these interviewees that speed is one of the biggest contributing factors when it comes to reducing traffic fatalities and improvements that would slow vehicles down could save more lives. As an added challenge, there are certain policies that can only be reformed by the state legislature in California such that local level officials must also work with and rely on their state-level counterparts. Moving forward, I argue that reforms giving more power to local municipalities may help improve Vision Zero’s effectiveness in reducing traffic fatalities.
Public policy|Political science
Farrell, Christopher, "Vision Zero and the Bay Area Response: Traffic Fatalities and Perceptions of Pedestrian Safety in Local Politics and Public Policy" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28540916.