Resolution Support Vision Zero

Environmental policy and legislation in San Francisco

[Resolution in Support of Vision Zero]

Resolution in support of San Francisco’s Vision Zero framework to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities in the next ten years through a combination of engineering measures, education, and enforcement.

WHEREAS, The Commission on the Environment wants a safe and healthy city where we do everything possible to avoid traffic-related injuries and fatalities; and

WHEREAS, Cars and trucks produce greenhouse gas emissions when they burn gasoline or other fossil fuels, which contributes to human-made climate change; and

WHEREAS, 40 percent of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 came from cars and trucks, and trips in personal automobiles account for the great majority of these emissions; and,

WHEREAS, San Francisco’s vulnerabilities to climate change include sea level rise and flooding, heat waves, damage to local ecosystems, and risks to the city’s transportation and water infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, The City of San Francisco’s  Climate Action Strategy supports measures that increase walking, transit ridership, ridesharing and bicycling to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals; and


WHEREAS, The City of San Francisco has set the goal for 50 percent of all trips in the city to be made by means other than driving alone in a personal vehicle by 2018; and

WHEREAS, According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable road users and account for over half of traffic deaths in San Francisco with San Francisco having the highest per capita rate of pedestrian injury of all counties in the state of California; and

WHEREAS, According to the SFDPH, at least 800 pedestrians are injured and an average of 100 severely injured or killed and a rising number of bicyclists are injured on San Francisco streets each year; and

WHEREAS, According to the SFDPH, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths are highly concentrated on a subset of city streets, and these streets are disproportionately concentrated in low-income, non-English speaking communities with high densities of seniors, disabled residents, and populations reliant on walking and public transit; and

WHEREAS, Measures to make San Francisco’s streets safer will encourage people to take trips by walking, bicycling, and multiple modes such as walking to transit; and

WHEREAS, The City of San Francisco adopted a Pedestrian Strategy in 2013 to reduce serious or fatal pedestrian injuries 25 percent by 2016 and 50 percent by 2021; and

WHEREAS, Vision Zero provides a framework for reducing traffic deaths to zero by the year 2024 through a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement measures; and

WHEREAS, The concept of Vision Zero originated in Sweden, which now has one of the lowest annual rates of road deaths in the world; and

WHEREAS, Chicago and New York are among large US cities which have set Vision Zero goals; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have endorsed Vision Zero, and San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, Municipal Transportation Agency, and Police Department have formally adopted Vision Zero policies to reduce injuries and deaths from preventable traffic collisions; and

WHEREAS, The San Francisco Department of the Environment collaborates with other City agencies, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Department of Public Health, to support policies, programs, and initiatives that promote safer streets such as the Walk First initiative, Traffic Calming Program, Safe Routes to School program, and Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategies; and 

WHEREAS, The San Francisco Department of the Environment conducts education and outreach to San Francisco residents, commuters, and businesses to increase the number of trips taken by sustainable modes, including walking, bicycling, and taking transit; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Environment Commission supports the Vision Zero goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero by the year 2024; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Environment Commission endorses Vision Zero initiatives and intends to provide support by making traffic safety a priority in the San Francisco Department of the Environment’s transportation and outreach activities, in coordination with other City agencies.

I hereby certify that this Resolution was adopted at the Commission on the Environment’s Meeting on September 30, 2014.

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

VOTE:      6-0 Approved; 1 Vacant

AYES:      Commissioners Arce, Gravanis, King, Stephenson, Wald and Wan

NOES:     None