Vision Zero 2016: Creating Safer School Neighbourhoods

When our City Council approved Vision Zero, with the long-term goal of having zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, we knew it would require a multidimensional approach from the City and Edmontonians and I am happy to report we are making progress, particularly when it comes to school safety.

2016 results

Keeping students and their families safe as they travel to and from school is so important and in 2016 the City undertook a number of improvements at Edmonton schools:

  • Traffic safety assessments were conducted at 13 elementary schools to observe road user behavior and new countermeasures were installed in September 2016. Countermeasures included new zebra crosswalks, new stop signs with retro-reflective poles, reflective strips on pedestrian signs, and upgrading from yield signs to stop signs.
  • Starting in 2016, a pickup/drop-off zone will be implemented at one school every year. In 2016, St. Justin School received a pickup/drop-off zone.
  • Prohibiting left turns from school parking lots was implemented at two schools.
  • In October, City Council approved the expansion of 30 km/hr school zones to include Edmonton’s 43 junior high schools. This new speed limit will be in place for all junior high schools by September 2017, when students return to class.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of school zones

In 2014, 30 km/hr school zones were implemented for Edmonton’s elementary schools. Our evaluation of these 30 km/hr school zones showed significant safety improvements, including:

  • 43 percent reduction in injury collisions
  • 71 percent reduction in injury collisions involving vulnerable road users
  • 12 km/hr reduction in vehicle speeds

Many great improvements have been made and we will continue this work throughout 2017 to make Edmonton’s streets safe for all road users, especially close to schools. For more information on Vision Zero, visit edmonton.ca/visionzero and follow @VisionZeroYEG on Twitter.

Council Connect

On September 22, 2015 City Council approved the Road Safety Strategy 2016-2020 making Edmonton the first Canadian city to officially adopt Vision Zero, the long-term goal of zero fatalities and zero major injuries on our roads.

Vision Zero is a global initiative and a bold goal that has been implemented in Sweden and in some American cities including Boston, Seattle and New York.

Developed by the Office of Traffic Safety, the Edmonton Road Safety Strategy 2016-2020 moves us toward Vision Zero. Through a Safe-Systems, evidence-based approach, we will save lives and eliminate injuries through the 5 E’s of traffic safety:

  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Enforcement
  • Evaluation
  • Engagement

One area of focus moving forward is School Safety. It is important to all of us that we protect our most vulnerable citizens, and that we create safe areas around our schools. The Office of Traffic Safety has identified 13 schools of focus. As apart of this emphasis on safety, a new state-of-the-art video analytics tool will be used.

Currently, this tool is being used for Data Collection which through analysis, will help inform the City of Edmonton on the issues around these 13 schools, and will be used to help create a plan and a strategy to create safe spaces and places around our schools.

This comprehensive strategy also includes the Edmonton & Area Traffic Safety Culture, the development of a Traffic Safety App, dedicated school zone enforcement units, driver feedback signs, and the installation of additional Pedestrian Crossing Controls.

Traffic Safety is not the responsibility of any one person or agency, rather it is something that impacts each and everyone of us. Traffic Safety is our responsibility, and together we can make a difference and save lives.

As always, you can contact me by email,  or by calling my office at City Hall, 780-496-8136.