August 25, 2015

Mexico City Joins the Vision Zero Movement

Cover photo

Transforming a vibrant and diverse metropolis like Mexico City is no easy task. But consistent progress, led by elected officials and citizen groups alike, is leading to impressive results. On International Pedestrian Day, Mayor Miguel Mancera (above, centered) announced a new Vision Zero policy which will improve safety and comfort for pedestrians across the city. The policy reflects years of advocacy by ITDP Mexico and civil society organizations, and aligns the city with the global road safety movement.

The first of its kind in Mexico City, the new regulation establishes a range of road safety measures that will protect human life and improve comfort for those on foot. By prioritizing pedestrian lives over vehicles, the measures will allow secure, efficient, and comfortable movement around the city.

The new policy is built on three pillars: law enforcement, road design, and establishing a culture of mobility. Measures will include decreasing speeds for motorist on major roads, improving intersection design, and traffic calming measures. Interventions at dangerous intersections are already being planned, with additional policies to come. In Mexico City, approximately 1,000 people are killed each year due to traffic crashes. Of these, about half are pedestrians. The new policy sets the initial goal of reducing this by 35%.

Camina Doctores FeatureThe strength of the law is the result of a union between civil society and government officials. ITDP Mexico has worked to increase awareness of Vision Zero principles among local politicians and decision makers, thereby building support for the policy. In addition, the regulations include input from organizations including ITDP Mexico, Bicitekas A.C, Civita Consultores, CTS Embarq Mexico, CONAPRA, Mexico Previene A.C, and Greenpeace Mexico. National and international experts, such as Jon Orcutt and Michael King, were consulted to establish strong and accurate road safety criteria. The result is one of the most advanced transit regulations in Latin America.

Vision Zero is a comprehensive strategy built on the principle that no loss of human life from traffic collisions is acceptable. Started in Stockholm, the concept takes the stand that collisions are not ‘accidents’, but preventable incidents that can be avoided by systemic action. The policy has been adopted in cities around the world as a way to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. Using traffic control, intersection redesigns, and other tools, the policy seeks to reduce the number of crashes between motorists and pedestrians, and prevent death or serious injuries.

The new law is a major step forward for Mexico City, and will serve as a model for other cities across Mexico. The policy sets a precedent that puts people first, and marks a new beginning for urban mobility in Mexico City.

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