Piscitello Law has selected Vision Zero as the mission to salute for our
2018 Holiday Campaign. In doing so, we honor our clients whom have suffered
and continue to deal with severe injuries after being involved in a cycling
or pedestrian crash in our region. We recognize with great sadness the
families of our clients whom have lost their lives while cycling. It is
their story and many others who inspire us to do what we can to mitigate
Vision Zero (VZ) is multi-nation initiative with a guiding principle that
death and serious injury should not be an acceptable outcome of transportation.
Vision Zero plans often draw attention to flaws within the transportation
system such as dangerous traffic patterns, speeding and a lack of sufficient
protected bike/pedestrian lanes. VZ action plans utilize data to identify
areas of high injury and communities with limited access to safe roads
of transport. Community engagement, education and enforcement of new laws
are integral to the campaign’s success.
Piscitello Law salutes Vision Zero for their 2018 Holiday Campaign. Piscitello
Law joins the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to raise funds
in support of Vision Zero's mission to end cycling and pedestrian deaths.
The match is for a limited time - until December 31st or until our fundraising
goal is reached.
We wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday Season and New Year!
History of Vision Zero
Sweden Takes the Lead
Vision Zero first began as a national policy in Sweden in 1997. The Swedes
developed a strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe
injuries by 2020 – and adopted that strategy into law. Due to their
forward thinking, Swedish roads are considered some of the safest to travel
in the world; traffic- related deaths have dropped by 30% since they began
VZ. Many other countries within the European Union have adopted Vision
Zero laws and policies.
Slow Start by the U.S.
In contrast to our European friends, the United States has lagged in the
race to make our roads safer for vulnerable users such as cyclists, pedestrians,
construction workers, etc. In the absence of a national law, cities across
the U.S. are adopting city-centric Vision Zero initiatives and laws to
improve underlying issues of transport safety.
Chicago was the first U.S. city to adopt its own Vision Zero-type initiative
in 2012 when it passed a law calling for zero transport deaths in 10 years.
Two years later, four other cities adopted VZ action plans, laws or developed
a task force (San Francisco, New York, Austin and Los Angeles). By 2016,
Philadelphia joined this group of early adopter cities when they launched
their own Vision Plan Task Force.
Philadelphia’s Need for a Plan
The need for a city-wide plan in Philadelphia remains significant; every
year residents sustain more than 10,600 traffic crashes killing almost
100 individuals and injuring 300. Compared to peer cities with established
Vision Zero policies, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of traffic-related
deaths per 100,000 residents. Every 5 hours, a driver hits a person walking
Tragically, for the family of Shien Ching Shen, their beloved grandmother
became another life lost. Shien, a 79 year-old Philadelphia resident was
killed while walking across Roosevelt Boulevard and dragged 120 feet (November
14, 2017). Two weeks later, on November 29th, a 24 year- old cyclist, Emily Fredericks was killed on 11th and Spruce street while cycling in the bike lane. A private trash truck
struck this young woman while taking a right-hand turn. No one deserves
these tragic outcomes when out walking or cycling.
Vision Zero History in Philadelphia
Signs of change began to take hold in 2015 thanks to the “Better
Mobility Working Group” led by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater
Philadelphia (BCGP). The group successfully put the issue of safe streets
into the debates of the 2015 Philadelphia Mayoral Race. This group would
eventually evolve into the current Vision Zero Philadelphia Alliance,
also led by BCGP. By November 2016, Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney
signed Executive Order 11-16 creating a Vision Zero Task Force and set
a target of zero traffic-related deaths by 2030. By March of 2017, the
VZ task force launched its website and a three- year Draft Action Plan.
The plan relies on data to identify areas of high injury and communities
with limited access to safe roads and transport. Also addressed are engineering
and street infrastructure issues which affect safety. The plan includes
components of education and enforcement of new laws. You can read the plan
The Vision Zero Alliance is led by Bob Previdi at BCGP and includes organizations
such as AAA, AARP, Clean Air Council, Jefferson Hospital and the African
American Chamber Commerce. The Alliance is working towards a March 17,
2018 conference during which they plan to take stock of action items and
target goals set forth in the three- year Action Plan.
Read about proposed Pennsylvania legislation here.