WALKSacramento is a non-profit organization that strives to improve pedestrian safety.

WALKSacramento is a non-profit organization that strives to improve pedestrian safety.

This fall, a local organization called WALKSacramento will take new steps toward safer communities. For the first time in Sacramento, a program called the Vision Zero Initiative will be implemented in order to approach pedestrian safety from a unique angle.

Vision Zero, a program successfully implemented in New York City and San Fransisco, holds promise for the Sacramento region.

“The Vision Zero Initiative roots back to Sweden,” says Emily Gerhart, Project Coordinator of WALKSacramento.  “Because Sacramento has a closer proximity to San Fransisco, we have been modeling our program in the BHC neighborhood off of the San Francisco program. We decided for our project we would try implementing this program in a smaller community, and [then] see if we can bring this to other communities.”

Vision Zero is based on the notion that “no one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic.” (visionzeroinitiative.com)  WALKSacramento’s model of the program will focus on pedestrian collisions, street conditions, awareness, and networking.  

WALKSacramento’s Vision Zero program will begin on a small scale this fall, in a region called the “BHC Zone.”  This area, also known as the Building Healthy Communities region, has been selected by the California Endowment as one of fourteen locations to receive funding for community development.

“The goal of WALKSacramento would be to reduce pedestrian death,” Gerhart adds.  “But we’re very lucky that thanks to the California Endowment, we have funding to specifically target this area of Sacramento.”

In an effort to make the project as successful as possible, WALKSacramento will be approaching Vision Zero from a community standpoint.  Any and all local residents interested in the project can participate.

“On a very basic level, anyone can participate in the Initiative by driving safer, walking safer, [and] biking safer,” says Gerhart.  “Specifically for the community and the participants who live in the BHC, we will be having an upcoming workshop and looking for the people that live there to tell us what their needs are.  Anyone that wants to be involved can definitely contact me via my email or our telephone.”

To learn more about the Vision Zero Initiative, or to get involved, contact Gerhart at egerhart@walksacramento.org, or call 916-466-9255.

Featured image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.