MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb County will be joining hundreds of cities across the nation to eliminate pedestrian deaths completely through a new initiative called Vision Zero.
“What we try to do is develop standards that communities can adopt to eliminate crash deaths,” said Vision Zero Consultant Bob Dallas.
The initiative that has county officials now envisioning a new future for Macon-Bibb with zero pedestrian deaths.
“It’s an ambitious goal but the philosophy behind it is the idea that these fatalities are preventable and because it is preventable they are unacceptable,” Review Board Chairman Tom Ellington told 41NBC.
Pedestrian Safety Review Board members announced plans to join the list of cities putting ‘Vision Zero’ into action early Tuesday afternoon.
“What we have now is assistance from the Federal Highway Administration to basically put together an implementation plan to help us prioritize, figure out next steps, figure out how to secure funding to basically make the transportation network here in Bibb County safer,” Ellington explained.
The goal is to reduce the number of pedestrian traffic-related deaths by making improvements to city infrastructure and changing dangerous practices in both pedestrians and drivers.
“It includes side walks, it includes multi use trails, it also includes pedestrian safety cross walks, it also includes lighting. It also includes looking at how the speeds are in a particular segment to make sure people do drive the right speed limit,” Dallas said.
Ellington says he hopes it will finally put an end to the current trend and be the first step toward making city streets safer for everyone.
“Well we’ve had bad news this year. Part of why this board exists is because we have a high rate in Macon-Bibb County of pedestrian fatalities,” he added.
So far this year, there have been nine pedestrian deaths in traffic crashes in Macon-Bibb County. That’s up one death from last year.