The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) developed the Vision Zero Action Plan to incorporate safety planning into its operations. The MPO took a multidisciplinary approach to safety improvements.
The Dangerous Reality
Each day, Hillsborough County residents travel roads with the highest traffic fatality rate per capita among large counties in the United States.1 From 2012 to 2018, nearly 1,300 people died as a result of motor vehicle crashes in the county.2 Moreover, the Tampa Bay area has one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities among metropolitan areas in the United States. On average, one pedestrian and one bicyclist are involved in a crash every day. A significant portion of these incidents results in severe injuries or deaths.
The Hillsborough MPO is responsible for establishing transportation priorities for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and unincorporated Hillsborough County. In partnership with state and local stakeholders, the MPO created the Vision Zero Action Plan. Partners in the Vision Zero Coalition include the Tampa City Council, Hillsborough County Commission, Temple Terrace City Council, Plant City Commission, School Board of Hillsborough County, emergency responders, businesses, and nonprofits. All of them share a goal to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries on area roadways.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
City of Tampa
City of Plant City
Sheriff's Office Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission
Hillsborough County Public Schools
St. Joseph's Hospital
Florida Health Hillsborough County
Tampa General Hospital
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Tampa Bay Partnership
Tampa Downtown Partnership
Cox Media Group
83 Degrees Media
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Walk Bike Tampa
Bike/Walk (A regional coalition of Tampa Bay)
The Vision Zero Coalition.
Four Action Tracks
The Vision Zero Action Plan contains four tracks. Members of the Vision Zero Coalition created goals and specific activities supporting each track. Together, these multi-disciplinary elements formed a roadmap for the Vision Zero Action Plan, described below.
Low-Cost Retrofits and Pop-Up Treatments
Complete streets, cycle tracks, and other projects improve safety but often require a large investment and a long time to accomplish. Saving lives in the short term with limited public dollars calls for creativity. This track set out to improve safety incrementally by using data to pinpoint locations for low-cost actions that can be completed in one or two years, such as painted temporary bike lanes.
Public Awareness and Education Strategies
Vision Zero's success depends on many voices communicating a core messages in ways that resonate. This action track focuses on identifying key audiences for the initiative, choosing the most effective mediums to reach them and tailoring Vision Zero's messages in compelling ways for each audience.
Shared Responsibility for Safe Road Behavior
Safe road behavior is everyone's responsibility. Preventing dangerous behaviors is not solely the responsibility of law enforcement. This action track focuses on ways to reduce dangerous behaviors by all road users. It also considers methods beyond policing to inhibit dangerous behaviors, including engineering and education.
Facilitating Culture Change through Policies and Programs
Reaching zero road deaths means positively changing the culture that contributes to the problems. It includes changing the way professionals in the private and public sectors approach driving, biking, and walking. This track also focuses on ways to avoid perpetuating the problems in the built environment.
The implementation of the Vision Zero Action Plan shows positive trends. The program started in December 2017, and quarterly tracking shows a decline in Hillsborough County traffic deaths since that time. In 2018, the County had the lowest total number of traffic deaths over the last six-year period. The cumulative efforts of the MPO, partners, and stakeholders are moving Hillsborough MPO toward zero traffic fatalities.
Gena Torres, Executive Planner, Hillsborough County MPO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 813-273-3774 (ext. 357).
2 Florida Department of Health. FLHealthCHARTS. http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/default.aspx.
Page last modified on November 18, 2019