Buried in the Vision Zero being talked about by Imagine Austin is an important map that North and North Central Austinites should be aware of:
2015 has been an especially tragic year for Austin traffic deaths— in just over seven months more people have been killed than during all of last year. For each person who dies, 3 or 4 more people are seriously injured. It’s a tragedy that touches many Austinites and leads us to a question of how many deaths and serious injuries are acceptable?... Vision Zero is a holistic approach which aims to achieve zero deaths & zero serious injuries while traveling by elevating safety as the top priority for the transportation system and requires a collaborative, multipronged approach addressing land use and transportation infrastructure, enforcement, and education and culture change.
But can a plan be "holistic" when it doesn't talk about how Austin will:
--find funding for the staggering amount of neighborhoods waiting for LATM projects:
--find funding for pedestrian safety issues identified on Burnet or figure out a way to insist TxDot must pay for at least some measures to alleviate the enormous pedestrian safety issues on North Lamar:
---address the mounting EMS crisis, that doe contribute to these deaths and injuries:
Typical workweeks at ATCEMS are made up of two 12-hour shifts and one 24-hour shift, or two 24-hour shifts. The department worked with a company called Circadian to look at its scheduling in the past. At that time, the department was on a 56-hour workweek, Shamard said. It has since changed to a 48-hour workweek.
Austin-Travis County EMS paramedics are grieving after on of their fellow medics committed suicide earlier this week.
EMS staff tells KVUE another fellow medic committed suicide in 2014. While they may never know exactly what led their co-workers to that point, they said something needs to change to get them the help they need on the job.
--Austin's efusal to take DWIs seriously:
In the past two years, Austin police have arrested nearly 6,000 drivers they believe were driving drunk. It is a use of time and resources they believe could be the difference between life and death.
“Our ultimate goal is to save lives,” said Detective Michael Jennings with the Austin Police Department’s DWI Unit. “There are really dire consequences to drunk driving.”
A claim backed by the sobering number of more than 1,300 drunk driving fatalities on Texas roads in 2013. The Department has made a commitment to getting drunk drivers off the road with an aggressive DWI unit.
But despite their efforts, one in every three people they arrest will never be convicted of DWI.
--the continued push by Austin to add more bicycle lanes while also continuing to loosen the regulations around licenses and locations for those businesses serving alcohol.
For example, this action item tkaen Planning and Neighborhoods Committee meeting at 4 pm on Monday, August 17, 2015, at City Hall.
Briefing on the larger policy issue of waivers relating to the distance requirement of City Code Section 4-9-4(a), which requires a minimum of 300 feet between a business that sells alcoholic beverages and a school.
Here is an example of what happens when the City isn't careful about making sure these two different initiatives are not impacting each other:
Many cities have pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly communities, while still having a thriving entertainment district. But balancing these requires City Departments who talk to each other, City Council and Boards who are not at cross purposes, and a willingness to find funding for pedestrian and bicycle safety. Vision Zero is relying on a shift of priorities at City Hall--and that's a problem.