The Anne Arundel County Office of Transportation announced the release of the Draft Anne Arundel County Vision Zero Plan. Each year, more than 30,000 people – roughly the population of the City of Annapolis – are killed on our nation’s streets and thousands more are injured.
From 2016-20, there were 234 deaths and 1,311 serious injuries in Anne Arundel County, with bicycle and pedestrian users receiving a disproportionate share. Among the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland, Anne Arundel ranked third for fatalities and fifth for serious injuries from motor vehicle-related crashes.
Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary strategy and collaborative effort aimed at eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. After having observed success in Sweden where it was mandated by their parliament in 1997, Chicago became the first in the country to commit to Vision Zero in 2012.
Since, many other jurisdictions have followed, including the state of Maryland, which implemented Toward Zero Deaths in 2016 through its Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), and then adopted Vision Zero through legislation in 2019. In 2014, the MDOT secretary urged all local jurisdictions to adopt a local SHSP. Howard, Prince Georges, Montgomery, Harford, Cecil, Carroll and Baltimore County have done so.
Both the County’s General Development Plan, known as Plan 2040, and the county’s Transportation Master Plan, MoveAnneArundel! (see below), call for the adoption of a Vision Zero Plan. Through data analysis, the plan identifies the types of crashes that occur, categorizes them, and then focuses on developing countermeasures utilizing what are known in the industry as the four “Es:” Engineering, Enforcement, Engagement/Education, and Emergency Services as well as two overarching “Es,” Equity and Evaluation.
This plan brings together individuals from multiple government agencies to work in concert to develop, implement and track the performance of the strategies. It is a living document and requires continuous efforts of collaboration and coordination between those County agencies that affect roadway safety, road use behavior, and crash response. By adopting this plan, the County positions itself to be eligible for federal and state grant money to fund safety-related projects.
To read and comment on the plan, visit www.aacounty.org/visionzero until March 1.