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The Boston Region MPO is creating a Vision Zero Action Plan for the 97 cities and towns in the Boston region. This work is funded by a Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) planning grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the new SS4A discretionary program, with $5 billion in appropriated funds over five years (2022–26). Vision Zero is an internationally recognized strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. The Boston Region MPO was awarded $2.16 million from USDOT and received 20 percent matching funds from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, bringing the total grant amount to $2.7 million.
Safety is an essential focus of the MPO and is one of the major goals identified in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Destination 2050. The Vision Zero Action Plan developed under this study will address the safety-related needs identified in the Destination 2050 Needs Assessment, set the roadmap for achieving the MPO’s Vision Zero goal, and allow the MPO and municipalities in the region to apply for SS4A Implementation Grant funds in future years. Equity is incorporated throughout the MPO’s work and will be integral to the Vision Zero Plan development, including the creation of the Vision Zero Task Force to bring a variety of perspectives to the planning process, a safety analysis focused on particular equity populations, stakeholder engagement and collaboration with equity populations, and development of recommendations for changes in policies, processes, and safety projects that lead to a more equitable region.
In developing the Vision Zero Action Plan, the MPO will adopt the Safe System approach that deems deaths and serious injuries unacceptable, focuses on safety for people, acknowledges that humans make mistakes, and builds redundancies to prevent severe crashes. The Vision Zero Action Plan will include analysis of crash data to identify trends and high-risk corridors, engagement with communities disproportionately impacted by roadway safety issues, and the formulation of evidence-based, data-driven policy and project recommendations.
The final Vision Zero Action Plan, with an anticipated completion date of June 2025, will provide a framework that will unlock additional safety project and program implementation funds for municipalities in future SS4A funding rounds.
The Vision Zero Task Force is a group of stakeholders brought together to help shape the action plan. The Task Force will provide targeted feedback, guidance, and recommendations on
- goal and target setting,
- methodological procedures for the roadway safety analysis and interpretation of results,
- engagement strategy and outcomes,
- equity considerations,
- existing policies that influence roadway safety and new policy creation,
- safety improvement strategies, and
- implementation of the plan.
Rebecca Morgan, Director of Projects and Partnerships