Fremont’s ambitious journey to zero traffic deaths

By Martha Brennan, East Bay Times, December 28, 2022

“From redesigning intersections to increasing crosswalk visibility, Fremont has been doing a lot to try to lower its traffic fatalities. It’s all part of the city’s ambitious Vision Zero plan, an initiative launched in 2015 with the aim of eliminating deaths on the city’s roadways.

“In the seven years since then, the number of traffic fatalities in the city has dramatically decreased, although higher speeds and reckless driving are on the rise, according to Fremont’s Public Work Director Hans Larsen.

“On Dec. 2, Fremont recorded its seventh traffic fatality of the year, putting the city nearly on track to match last year’s total of nine traffic fatalities. However, before that, the city had cut its fatalities by 45 percent from 2015 to 2020, with less than five deaths occurring in 2020.

“The narrowing of traffic lanes has also been a major part of the project. ‘Prior to Vision Zero, the travel lanes in our local street system were designed the same width as they would be on a freeway, which are designed for high-speed travel,’ said Larsen.

“Many of the changes have been made in school zones. From 2013 to 2015, Fremont police recorded nine major collisions involving children aged 15 years or younger. From 2018 to 2020, only one such crash was recorded.

“[“Robert Prinz, advocacy director for Bike East Bay, a nonprofit promoting safety for bicyclists”] said that all of the work has led to more people using bicycles in the city. ‘We’re seeing a lot of new people on bikes in Fremont – people who may not have gotten out there if it wasn’t for the better infrastructure. We’re also seeing older people getting out there more, especially with the popularization of e-bikes,’ he said.”

Read the full article here.  (~5 min.)

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