On June 15, 2018, San Antonio held its first Vision Zero Summit, an all-day conference that brought more than 150 people together to learn about making Texas roadways safer for all users. RS&H was a sponsor of the sold-out event, where transportation industry experts from across the nation shared their expertise and discussed technological advances that may shape Texas’ transportation future. Among the speakers was Leah Shahum, the founder and executive director of the Vision Zero Network, and RS&H’s own Rick Mobley, who spoke on equity and ethics in Vision Zero cities.
“My experience as a registered landscape architect as well as a transportation planner allows me to connect policy and physical design for solutions to fulfill Vision Zero’s mission,” said Rick, the transportation planning group leader in the Houston, Texas, office. “It was a great conference, and hopefully those in attendance were able to take home some ideas they can implement in their communities.”
RS&H was also represented in the organization of the conference, with environmental specialist Elizabeth High leading an energetic and committed team as Summit Planning Committee chair.
An average of 100 people per day are killed in preventable crashes on U.S. roadways and millions more are injured. Vision Zero is an initiative working to achieve zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users. It puts forth five essential elements for a safe transportation system – education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation — departing from the status quo in two significant ways. First, it recognizes that people can make mistakes, and that road systems and traffic policies should therefore be developed with those inevitable mistakes in mind. Secondly, it utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that includes not just planners and engineers, but also policymakers, public health professionals, and law enforcement.
Vision Zero has been gaining momentum in major American cities, including Austin, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco. It was officially adopted by San Antonio in September 2015. As San Antonio and other cities across the country make Vision Zero their guide for traffic planning and design, RS&H associates are lending their expertise and voices to make roadway fatalities and serious injuries a thing of the past.