Indy leaders consider plan to ‘eliminate’ traffic deaths
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Indy leaders consider plan to ‘eliminate’ traffic deaths

Indy leaders consider plan to ‘eliminate’ traffic deaths

Source: Photo: Education Images. Universal Images Group via Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — Circle City authorities are considering introducing a reform that would eliminate the number of road fatalities in the next ten years.

Known as Vision Zero, it’s an initiative promoted by several advocacy groups that say the rising number of traffic-related deaths in Indianapolis is alarming and needs to be a priority. The initiative has caught the attention of City Councilors John Barth (D) and Andy Nielsen (D).

“The plan is to set an expectation and a vision to eliminate road traffic fatalities by 2035. To that end, a cross-functional team of community leaders, councilors and other experts has been established to develop an actual plan that we can budget for each year,” Barth said.

Put simply, the plan calls for the establishment of a 15-person task force of city experts and stakeholders tasked with shaping infrastructure and policy changes and implementing road strategies to reduce the number of people killed in road accidents.

The task force will also hold public meetings to gather community feedback.

“Now is the time to act. We also have to say that this is a solvable problem. This is not something that is just a lofty goal. It can be achieved. It just takes implementation and action,” Nielson said.

The plan has drawn no reaction from the council’s five Republicans, although some on social media have raised concerns about the impact the decision would have on driving, especially in downtown Indy.

The plan is similar to those already being implemented in places like Hoboken, New Jersey, and Denver, Colorado.

“Proposition 224 mirrors what other cities and municipalities have done to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes,” Nielsen said. “So we need to be vigilant about how we approach this in the upcoming budget process, but we saw the need to act now.”

The proposal to create a task force will soon be discussed by the City and County Council’s Public Works Committee. If approved by the committee on July 18, it will be considered by the full council at its next meeting. The goal of advocates such as Indy Pedestrian Safety Crisis, an activist group, is to have the task force in place by October so it can begin developing a Vision Zero plan that would be implemented by July 1 of next year.