Bellevue is looking for citizen feedback regarding road safety throughout the city. As part of the Vision Zero project to reduce traffic deaths and injuries, the city has set up an online questionnaire to collect input from the community.
Vision Zero is a traffic safety project that aims to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries in the city to zero by 2030. The project was created in Sweden in 1997, and has since been adopted in other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Franz Loewenherz, principal transportation planner and project manager for the Vision Zero Action Plan, said city staff are now working on an action plan and want the community conversation to be a part of the planning process. An online questionnaire is now available on the city’s website or at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VisionZeroBellevue.
The survey asks for opinions on the safety of roads, what the most dangerous behaviors are, and provides a space for people to tell their story regarding an injury to death that resulted from a collision in Bellevue.
Loewenherz said that while Bellevue street safety records compare favorably to other cities there is still a lot of work to be done to improve safety and reduce the amount of people being hurt every year. He cited a press release from the city that notes a statistic that every 17 days someone is killed or injured on Bellevue streets.
“We are a very data driven organization,” Loewenherz said. “But we recognize that behind each of those collision statistics is the story of a son or daughter, mother or father whose life was transformed in an instant.”
By receiving stories from community members the city hopes to connect the data with the impact on human lives these types of policies. According to the questionnaire, the city intends to feature the stories in the Vision Zero Action Plan and recognize them at City Hall.
Loewenherz said the city is also reviewing industry best practices in other communities that have taken on the Vision Zero project and is working with other organizations such as the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
Projects like the online questionnaire will help inform staff of the public perception of safety and will allow them to focus on the review of existing practices and policies in the city that could be applicable to improving safety.
Bellevue became the second city in Washington to be part of Vision Zero after the city council made amendments to the comprehensive plan in 2016 to pursue the Vision Zero project as part of future transportation planning.
The questionnaire will be available online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VisionZeroBellevue until Feb. 11. Bellevue also has an interactive map that displays crash data from 2008 to 2017 for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. The crash map data is available on the city’s Vision Zero webpage at transportation.bellevuewa.gov/safety-and-maintenance/traffic-safety/vision-zero.