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Vision Zero in Norfolk
Each year in Norfolk, there is a steady number of fatal and non-fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes along all types of roads. In 2020, 25 people were killed in traffic-related incidents on our streets. On average, six pedestrians or bicyclists are killed in Norfolk every year. These crash statistics highlight the need for a safer approach to transportation as well as better street design to boost the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
In 2019, Norfolk City Council adopted a Vision Zero policy as a strategy to eliminate all pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries and to make the city’s streets safer for all users.
Read Norfolk’s Vision Zero Resolution
Multimodal Transportation Master Plan
Norfolk's Vision Zero Policy has also played a significant role in the planning and development of the City’s first Multimodal Transportation Master Plan. The Multimodal Plan takes a comprehensive look at Norfolk’s transportation network and identifies ways to expand travel choices in a safe and convenient way for bicyclists, scooter users, bus riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Ensuring the safety of these vulnerable road users is a key goal of this master plan and directly aligns with the City’s Vision Zero policy.
Visit Norfolk’s Multimodal Transportation Master Plan project webpage
Vision Zero Strategies
In coordination with the City of Norfolk Bicycling, Pedestrian and Trails Commission, we developed a list of strategies to guide local actions and decisions. Three overarching themes have been identified – Improve data collection & evaluation, Create safe streets for all users, and Foster a culture of safety. Each theme lists several strategies that the City will undertake to improve road safety and to help raise awareness of Vision Zero in Norfolk. *Note: Some of the strategies listed will depend on funding availability.
Goal, Themes & Strategies
Zero is the Goal
We're dedicated to taking a safe systems and data-driven approach to improve road safety and to reduce the frequency and severity of traffic crashes. We've started taking steps towards our Vision Zero goal by identifying areas in need of safety improvements such as reducing speeds and installing better pedestrian accommodations. We're also utilizing data and educational tools as further support for other street safety improvements. Visit the Data: How are we doing? and Educational Resources pages for more information.
Here is what we're currently doing:
- Installing more pedestrian accommodations and countdown signals - Visit the Pedestrian Accommodation & Countdown Signal project webpage
- Retiming of pedestrian signal Walk and Clearance intervals
- Upgrading and installing ADA ramps citywide
- Identifying locations for sidewalk infrastructure improvements - Visit the Citywide Sidewalk Infrastructure project webpage
- Introducing a Neighborhood Speed Reduction Program - a comprehensive approach to address speeding and to slow all neighborhood streets to 20 mph with a desire to create safe streets for all users. Visit the Neighborhood Speed Reduction Program webpage
- Supporting educational outreach and partnering with local advocacy organizations
- Bike safety videos - Bike Norfolk: Street Smarts & Bike Smart - Know Your Role on the Streets
- Vision Zero PSA videos - Vision Zero, Slow Down, Stay Alert, & Share the Road
- Safety tips for pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, and drivers. View shareVAroads (PDF) for a complete safety overview.
- Promoting the Safe Routes to School Program(SRTS) - a federal initiative designed to promote walking and biking to school as an alternative transportation option to increase student activity levels and reduce fuel emissions. For information on the Safe Routes to School Program in Norfolk, visit https://www.npsk12.com/Page/1162.
Looking to the future
Action Plans are action-driven implementation plans that lay the groundwork for communities to move from vision to action while being responsive to the context and needs of the community. The goal of an Action Plan is to develop a holistic, well-defined strategy to prevent roadway fatalities and serious injuries in a locality.
The Department of Transit plans to apply for the Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program, specifically for an Action Plan grant. To learn more about this grant opportunity, please visit www.transportation.gov/grants/SS4A.