A City Had Zero Car Deaths In 2019 – How Did They Do It?

There have miraculously been no traffic deaths in our tiny city (pop. approx. 16,000) of Asbury Park in recent years, considering the huge numbers of drivers who appear in the summer season – it really is a miracle- But Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition believes that we can prevent any future deaths and serious injuries if we reduce miles traveled, restrict cars from most streets in our main city center, and provide alternative modes of transportation.  We can create a true city for people.  #driversareguests #toomanycars

The city of Oslo (pop. almost 700, 000) has succeeded in lowering death-by-car to only ONE in 2019, and the city, and the Governor says even that is one too many:  “Governing mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, told SmartCitiesWorld: “We have a vision of zero traffic deaths in our city. When one person is killed in traffic, it is one too many. But this takes us closer to our vision. Safety is at the core of our transportation policy.”

Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. WHY?  We know the reason is vehicles. #toomanycars. And yet traffic engineers still design roads to accommodate automotive traffic, and focus on Level Of Service (LOS), focusing on  the movement of motor vehicles, which promotes dangerous, high-speed streets and sprawling land use.

Quoting Streetsblog USA from the article below, “Cities around the U.S. have been slow to follow up on such success…”

In the Planetizen article at the bottom of this post, you’ll see how reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT (basically restricting traffic) will reduce traffic related fatalities and injuries. But as the article states, “some cities are making progress, (but) most jurisdictions are failing.”

‘Drivers are guests’:

How Oslo cut traffic deaths to almost zero in 2019

Oslo’s governing mayor tells SmartCitiesWorld how the city is making its streets safer, and that autonomous vehicles could help with retaining and improving the results.

Beautiful cityscape of Oslo on a summer day, Norway

The sole death in Oslo was a man whose car collided with a fence in June.

According to the World Health Organisation, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.35 million deaths worldwide in 2016 and were the leading cause of death for children and young adults.

Vision Zero! Norwegian Capital Completely Quashes Road Deaths

The most significant move Oslo officials made was devising a plan in 2015 to restrict cars from its square-mile city center and hike fees for entering and parking around the city’s core. Tolls rose in 2017 as the city removed 700 parking spaces and replaced them with 37 miles of bike lanes and pocket parks. The city center ban went into effect in early 2019 despite misgivings, but it was regarded as a model for other metropolises six months later. Cities around the U.S. have been slow to follow up on such success, though New York and San Francisco recently added a car-free thoroughfare to its transit mix.


Vision Zero, Meet VMT Reductions

Todd Litman | February 13, 2020

Many jurisdictions have vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction targets, intended to reduce congestion and pollution. They can also provide large but often overlooked traffic safety benefits.

Although some cities are making progress, most jurisdictions are failing. U.S. traffic death rates declined during the last half of the the 20th century, reaching a low of 32,479 in 2014, but subsequently increased, averaging about 37,000 annual deaths during each of the last three years. New strategies are needed to achieve ambitious safety goals.

Although the United States has rigorous road and vehicle safety standards, and numerous traffic safety programs, it also has the highest per capita traffic death rate among developed countries. Why? Because people in the United States also drive more than residents in peer countries, as illustrated below.

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