In an effort to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in Texas—which has the highest number of fatal car crashes of any U.S. state—several communities have passed resolutions to adopt Vision Zero (VZ) or have gone further and developed comprehensive VZ plans. This represents only a handful of the hundreds of municipalities and metropolitan planning organizations across the state.
A non-profit organization-initiated Texas’ first statewide VZ Summit in May 2022, bringing together local leaders, community advocates, engineers, planners and educators to discuss how to build support for VZ, how to get started, strategies for outreach and analysis, and success stories from individuals and agencies who have helped Texas communities start on the path toward VZ.
WSP USA was asked to help coordinate the summit, drawing on our safety experience and VZ efforts elsewhere via bi-weekly planning calls in addition to session-specific meetings. This model—blending keynote speeches, panel discussions, short presentations, and breakout sessions—may help other communities begin their VZ efforts. The entire summit was live-streamed, allowing for greater participation beyond people who could physically attend. This inclusive approach, key to VZ, expands the reach to participants who have physical or financial challenges that may hinder attendance in-person. Participants were encouraged to report on their VZ efforts—to share their successes and promote strategies which other agencies could benefit from adopting.
This summit laid the foundation for future VZ efforts across Texas. The summit will move around the state to better include local participation. Other states could implement this model, proving that change toward VZ does not need to start at the top—any group can advocate for change.