WH Vision Zero: Draft Action Plan & Event Dec 6th

The West Hartford Vision Zero Action Plan, which the Town plans to finalize in January 2024, aims for the goal of zero traffic deaths or severe injuries among all road users. 

We urge our members to attend this meeting and provide feedback because the final version of this Action Plan will guide the Town’s approach to road safety improvements going forward.

Questions to Ask about the draft Action Plan

A Vision Zero Action Plan should outline actionable, measurable strategies, emphasizing design and policy solutions, including designing Complete Streets and lowering speeds for safety. As you review and comment on the Town’s draft document we ask that you keep the following questions in mind. 

1) Does the Plan identify a comprehensive list of actionable strategies to get us closer to Vision Zero? 

  • Does the Plan call for lowering speed limits to fit the context? In communities where there is a mix of people walking, biking, driving, and taking transit, speeds are generally more appropriate in the 20-25 mph range. This is especially true in areas with schools, senior centers, parks, and transit centers.
  • Does the Plan call for creation of a neighborhood traffic calming program to reduce the number and severity of crashes on residential streets? These programs are designed to allow communities to identify their own problems and nominate themselves for projects.

2) Does the Plan establish a quick-build initiative? 

  • Does the Plan include commitments by the Town to quickly and relatively cheaply implement pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements both in residential and school areas, and within the Vision Zero High Injury Network? 
  • See also this helpful guide to Community Quick-Builds by the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CCROG).

3) Does the Plan identify resource commitments to achieve its goals?

Vision Zero is not just “business as usual” with a new name; its core principles must be acknowledged and built into everyday efforts. To that end:

  • Does the Plan clearly identify the budget and resources needed to implement the Plan and the identified strategies?
  • Does it establish a permanent, dedicated funding source for Vision Zero implementation and coordination?
  • Does it include timelines for the continued creation of the Vision Zero program within the Town with a dedicated and trained staff?
  • Does it include requirements for periodic third-party audits of progress?

To learn more about what we should expect from the Town of West Hartford’s draft Action Plan, see the national Vision Zero Network and in their guide to developing Action Plans.

As we learn more about the West Hartford Vision Zero draft Action Plan, we will listen to input from our members, and also publicly share our comments. If you cannot attend the December 6th meeting but wish to share written feedback or questions, please email the Vision Zero Task Force (VisionZero@westhartfordct.gov) and cc: us at Bike West Hartford (BikeWestHartfordInc@gmail.com).

Thank you from the board members of Bike West Hartford, and we will see you on December 6th!