Measure M, having passed last year with more than 70% approval, is set to reduce cycling and pedestrian accidents with better infrastructure. The increase in sales tax will invest in more bike lanes, greenways, bike-share expansions, sidewalk improvements, as well as improvements to the greater Los Angeles public transportation network. Hopefully these projects will not only reduce traffic congestion in a city that is poised to house more people, but also reduce the number of traffic related accidents and deaths. However, the question remains, does Measure M fund enough projects to reach Mayor Garcetti’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic deaths by 2025?
Vision Zero, the collaborative goal spearheaded by Mayor Garcetti to reduce traffic deaths by 2017, is an ambitious approach at making lives of Angelenos the highest priority among all Los Angeles Agencies. At first glance, the goal seems entirely unrealistic. Los Angeles, carrying one of the highest fatality rates for a major urban area in the United States, allows around 200 people to die on its streets every year due to traffic accidents. That said, many city improvements have been implemented to save the lives of the countless lives. Los Angeles has studied many of the traffic hotspots in the city to eliminate the factors that cause these accidents. Unfortunately, these top accident incident locations are highly populated by bicyclists and pedestrians alike. Bike lanes and protected pedestrian crossings are critical in these areas to protect vulnerable travelers.
With so many technologies and innovations designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists, it is simply unacceptable to allow this many people to die in avoidable circumstances. Between fostering development of automated vehicles, expanding our public transportation network and creating more bike paths along with safe pedestrian crossings, Los Angeles is moving in right direction in 2017 to eliminate traffic collision deaths.