On Tuesday, the Phoenix City Council is set to vote on a highly controversial plan, Vision Zero, which will impose a speed limit reduction on all city streets. Councilwoman Thelda Williams blasted the plan as “bad policy” and called for a “real solution” to lower pedestrian and bicycle fatalities.
“At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, the Phoenix City Council may vote on a major policy plan, Vision Zero, which aims to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities to zero. While I strongly support finding ways to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, I do not support a policy with a citywide blanket lowering of speed limits,” said Williams in a press release.
Williams described the plan as arbitrary and complained that it is “easy way to address traffic injuries and fatalities, but it’s not the smartest way.”
Councilman Sal DiCiccio noted last week in a Facebook post that the plan had been tried in Boston and failed. According to DiCiccio, Boston “reduced all City streets to 25 MPH. When that didn’t work – and by “work” they mean eliminating ALL roadway fatalities – they developed a plan to reduce the speed to 15 MPH throughout their City core, and massively increase fines on drivers.”
As a result, Williams echoed DiCiccio’s concerns and called for “data-driven strategies” rather than risk increasing congestion, contributing to road rage, decreasing air quality and dumping “resources into areas where the data does not support the need.”
“I believe that to achieve the goal of dramatically lowering or eliminating pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities, our efforts should be focused on data; enforcement, such as ticketing speeders and jaywalkers; increasing public education and using resources effectively,” said Williams. “No matter how much a vehicle is slowed, factors such as impairment, distracted driving, and distracted pedestrians are critical to everyone’s safety.”
Williams called for public to call her fellow council members and “let them know that this plan is a bad policy.”
Listen to DiCiccio’s chief of staff Sam Stone discuss the Vision Zero Plan: