Somerville Vision Zero

"Somerville strives to become the most walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly city in America, and if we’re going to get there, we must be bold, and we must bolster our dedication to safer streets.” – Mayor Curtatone

Vision Zero aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Somerville’s streets.

Launched by Mayor Joseph Curtatone in September 2017, Vision Zero Somerville reaffirms the City’s commitment to multi-modal road safety. The initiative will take a multi-department, data-driven approach to improving safety for all road users, whether on bicycles or on foot, in vehicles, or aboard public transit.

 

How will we get there?

The City has been preparing for this commitment for the past 18 months by:
  • Increasing road safety awareness across municipal government departments
  • Lowering speed limits citywide, and adding 65 new 20 mph safety zones near schools, senior centers, hospitals, parks, and more
  • Planning and developing improved infrastructure, including:
    • Parking-protected bike lanes on Washington Street
    • A midblock crosswalk and flashing beacon at Union Square
    • A separated bike lane being added to Beacon Street during its reconstruction

Our work has only just begun. We're using data-driven technical planning and community input to create a plan of one-, three-, and five-year actionable goals around engineering, education, and enforcement efforts.

How can I help?

Here are some easy ways for residents and visitors to help us make the City a safer place and achieve our Vision Zero goal:

  • Learn to share the road: We're launching an interactive learning module on this page to clear up common misconceptions and increase awareness
  • Report safety concerns using the form and map below to help us to identify and resolve problem areas
  • Check back here for more ways to take part, and share this page with family, friends, and neighbors!

 

  • Report a Safety Concern

  • More Info & Resources

Launched by Mayor Joseph Curtatone in September 2017, Vision Zero Somerville reaffirms the City’s commitment to multi-modal road safety. The initiative will take a multi-department, data-driven approach to improving safety for all road users, whether on bicycles or on foot, in vehicles, or aboard public transit.

“In 2016 alone, Somerville saw 636 reported crashes on City-owned roadways, and 224 of those resulted in some type of injury. This is unacceptable; traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “If Somerville is to become the most walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly city in America, an achievement we are steadily striving for, then we must take a systematic approach to creating safer streets. Through our Vision Zero commitment, we will treat traffic safety like the public health issue that it is, examining behaviors and conditions on our streets, so that we can make lasting improvements that get us closer to eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in all Somerville neighborhoods.”

Somerville joins 27 other Vision Zero communities across the country and will release a Vision Zero Action Plan in 2018. The plan, which will be developed through data-driven technical planning work and a robust community process, will include one-, three-, and five-year actionable goals around engineering, education, and enforcement efforts that build upon ongoing road safety efforts.

The City has been preparing for this commitment for the past 18 months by increasing awareness across municipal government departments and improving roadway safety through lower speed limits and upgraded infrastructure. In November 2016, Somerville lowered citywide speed limits on most roads from 30 mph to 25 mph, becoming one of the first cities in Massachusetts to take advantage of new State legislation that allows municipalities to do so. Additionally, 65 new 20 mph safety zones were established in higher vulnerability pedestrian areas around schools, senior centers, medical facilities, parks, and more. Finally, recent infrastructure improvements include parking protected bike lanes on Washington Street, and a midblock crosswalk and flashing beacon at Union Square.

Additional projects and ongoing work will continue throughout the development of the Vision Zero Action Plan. For example, Beacon Street reconstruction, which is underway, includes safety features such as raised and separated bicycle facilities as well as pedestrian beacons at high-demand crosswalks.

“We are well aware that setting a goal to prevent all traffic deaths and serious injuries is highly ambitious. It will take careful planning, city resources, and the focused participation of the full community ultimately to reach our Vision Zero goal. We will certainly face challenges, and we will not succeed overnight,” said Mayor Curtatone. “But we are setting our course right here and now, and we are determined. We look forward to joining with—and learning from—the growing number of Vision Zero cities as we all intensify our commitment to roadway safety.”