It was humbling to join representatives from 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Madison Bikes and City staff this week to recognize the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Each year, 1.35 million people are killed in traffic crashes around the world. In the US, the number is over 35,000 per year. In the last five years, 57 people have died in traffic crashes within the City of Madison.

This week is an appropriate time to remember and mourn those whose lives have been lost. As we honor them, we can lift up the changes the City is making to reduce the number of such fatalities.

The City, together with our community partners on the Vision Zero Stakeholder Task Force, has committed to implementing our Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate all fatalities and severe injuries that occur as the result of traffic collisions on city streets by 2035. We ask everyone to join us in supporting the changes we must make.

Our efforts are working and Madison is starting to see change. The City’s Traffic Engineering division calculates that from January to September 2022, overall crashes were down over the same period last year, with serious injuries and fatalities down 19%.

Policy changes and street design changes can and will make a difference. The City is moving forward with setting safe speed limits, redesigning roads to prioritize humans over cars, safety over convenience, and filling the gaps in the sidewalk and bike network.

In 2023, City projects on Broom St, W. Wilson St and Atwood Ave will provide new roadway designs that reduce motor vehicle lanes, improve pedestrian crossings and provide separated bike facilities. In 2023, the City will fully implement the 20 mph speed limit on neighborhood streets and implement the first phase of Bus Rapid Transit making it easier to choose to travel by bus.

The City is also pursuing $23 million in federal funds to accelerate safety improvements like flashing crosswalks, and we have ensured our requests focus on equity. My budget includes the necessary matching funds to ensure we can immediately leverage those funds to implement safety improvements for the neighborhoods that are the most in need.

I am committed to making changes to our streets to ensure safe travel for everyone whether they are walking, biking, taking a bus or driving. I ask everyone in the City of Madison to join me in supporting changes that will make our streets safer. Vision Zero is possible.

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