Vision Zero to be Considered in Santa Cruz

In 2015, the City of Santa Cruz was recognized as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and according to a report released in February 2019, with a bike mode share of 13.2%, Santa Cruz has the second highest rate of commute trips by bike in the U.S. following Davis, California.

The significant growth of commute trips by bike is in large part due to the City’s investment in infrastructure improvements and bicycle and pedestrian safety education and encouragement programs including Streets Smarts, Bike/Walk Smart, Bike to Work, Bike/Walk to School, Earn-a-Bike, and Open Streets.

While the City of Santa Cruz has worked to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, it still has the worst rate of serious injuries and fatalities among bicyclists and 5th worst among pedestrians in California cities of similar size.

We believe a solution is Vision Zero. Vision Zero is the concept that there is no acceptable number of traffic-related deaths and severe injuries on our roadways and no one should die or be seriously injured while traveling on our streets. Traffic violence also disproportionately affects bicyclists and pedestrians; as they account for 19% of trips but 51% of fatalities and serious injuries. Additionally, 34% of fatal and serious injury crashes occur on just 3.8 miles of Santa Cruz City streets.

In the coming weeks, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider adopting a Vision Zero policy and we urge council members to doing whatever it takes to reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities to zero. Stay tuned to learn how you can take action.

Photo: Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel