2016 Progress Report

An Evaluation of the City of Boston’s Action Plan for Preventing Traffic Fatalities & Injuries on Boston Streets





Letter from the Coalition

December 7th, 2016

A year ago, the City of Boston released its first Vision Zero Action Plan. The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition worked closely with the City to ensure that the Action Plan created an ambitious, multi-department initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

The Coalition also committed to reviewing the City’s performance annually to ensure public accountability in reaching its goals. This Progress Report is an opportunity to reflect upon Vision Zero’s implementation during this first, formative year.

Based on our assessment, the City has made progress, but the City will need to dedicate more capital resources and funding for staff in order to eliminate traffic fatalities in Boston by 2030.

Some of the accomplishments achieved in this first year include:

  • Taking legislative action to successfully lower the prevailing speed limit on local city streets from 30 to 25 mph and installing speed radar boards throughout the city

  • Connecting with the community by assembling a Task Force, involving stakeholders, and partnering with advocates

  • Conducting Rapid Response visits in crash sites where fatalities and serious injuries occurred

  • Launching an online, interactive crash map for tracking traffic injuries and fatalities, as well as an online, interactive “safety concerns map” to gather information from the public about threats to their safety, whether or not a crash has occurred

  • Creating “Boston’s Safest Driver” app, providing incentive and feedback for safe driving practices and more public awareness of Vision Zero

  • Implementing safety improvement measures along a section of Massachusetts Ave and in Codman Square

Through these initial achievements, a framework for Vision Zero’s implementation has been established by the City. However, despite these accomplishments, there have been a large number of crashes. So far in 2016, there have been 17 confirmed traffic fatalities on streets managed by the City of Boston.

To effectively counter these crashes, the City of Boston will need to accelerate its efforts to quickly and proactively redesign “hot spots” – corridors and neighborhoods that see higher incidences of traffic crashes.

The Coalition recommends that the Mayor and City Council provide greater staff resources and capital funding to departments tasked with implementing Vision Zero in order to rapidly enact this initiative in the coming years. Lives hang in the balance.

Boston has led the way in bringing Vision Zero to Massachusetts. As other municipalities adopt Vision Zero, the Coalition recommends greater coordination and collaboration between Boston and its fellow cities – to share best practices, address shared corridors, and lobby the Commonwealth for increased funding, resources, and administrative support.

The City of Cambridge has also committed to Vision Zero, and its own Action Plan is forthcoming. The Coalition will provide guidance and review Cambridge’s progress to ensure that Vision Zero is also successful there.

The Coalition produced this Progress Report to be a clear and comprehensive resource for the public so that community members could advocate for safer streets where they live - whether that be in Boston or elsewhere. Please reach out to the Coalition if you would like learn more about Vision Zero.

The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition is committed to seeing the City of Boston and all of Massachusetts accomplish Vision Zero. Members of this Coalition, collectively and individually, are invested in creating safe and accessible transportation networks for all.


Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition members