A closer look at Nashville’s Vision Zero plan

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NDOT released the department’s five-year plan for Vision Zero. | Photo via Unsplash

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Nashville could soon green light Vision Zero, a city-wide initiative aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities by 2050. NDOT has released the draft implementation plan, which outlines the department’s proposed traffic safety improvements over the next five years. Let’s take a closer look.

How we got here

The city’s Vision Zero journey began in January 2020 when Mayor John Cooper committed to joining 40+ US cities with similar initiatives. Since then, a team has analyzed local traffic incident data and worked with community groups on developing this action plan.

The goal of Vision Zero is to create safer streets and intersections. Here’s why: An earlier report states that Nashville ranks No. 24 in US traffic deaths per 100,000 residents. Additionally, 6% of streets account for 59% of serious or fatal crashes for all modes of transportation.

What’s next

The five-year plan highlights and ranks 100 priority projects within a “high injury network” of roads that will help guide investments in infrastructure and programs. Other projects include improvements to street lighting, intersections, and transit access.

What about funding? NDOT is calling for $25 million — $21 million for engineering and the remaining funds for education, evaluation, and enforcement. Zooming out, the department has funding from previous fiscal years planned for the following projects:

  • $6.2 million for Nolensville Pike safety improvements
  • $8 million for NDOT’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program
  • $2 million for traffic operations, speed trailers, and pedestrian crossing improvements
  • $1 million for education and safety awareness campaign and promotion
  • $500,000 to update design standards and develop a pedestrian crossing policy
  • $500,000 for data collection and website management
  • $14 million held as contingency (think: supply chain issues and rising labor and construction costs)

If you’d like to do a deeper dive, start with the Nashville Vision Zero Data Dashboard at the link below, where you can visualize how the plan affects drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.