Imagine giving the street during school drop-off to the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, the mobility impaired, and cyclists. School Streets are Vision Zero in action.
School Streets can be a part of Ottawa’s more ambitious commitment to achieving Vision Zero. While the City of Ottawa aims to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by 2024, and all the way to zero by 2035, we think we can get there sooner. School Streets can be a part of the solution.
What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero aims to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities to zero. The Vision Zero movement started in Sweden in the 1990s and has since moved to several European and North American cities. For example, the city of Edmonton declared a commitment to Vision Zero, which has resulted in a reduction of 60% of traffic fatalities. Key principals include:
- Changing public opinion from accepting “accidents” as unavoidable to thinking they are preventable
- Understanding that human drivers make mistakes, so road systems are to be designed such that when mistakes occur they minimize injury
School Streets are Vision Zero in Action
A school street is Vision Zero in action as it gives the street over to the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, the mobility impaired, and cyclists. By moving vehicular traffic away from schools for periods of school drop off and pick up, it can make an otherwise anxious trip on foot and bike to a pleasurable and safe one. School Streets around the world have shown that by displacing vehicular traffic away from the immediate drop off and pick up area, it incentivizes more active mobility to school, reduces local congestion and results in cleaner air.
Bringing a School Street to your Community
We know that a change in the status quo to road use is not easy, but the result is worthwhile. You can start by doing the following:
- Socialize a Walk and Roll day with your schools parent council
- Inform your Community Associations and your Councilor you want a School Street, Work with the community to identify possible routes.
- Seek out resources by contacting School Streets Ottawa
Join School Streets Ottawa and add your voice to Vision Zero and our to mission to make travel to school active, safe and sustainable.