Saturday Soapbox: A street concept that could save gas, money, time — and lives | Opinion

Thank you to the Herald-Republic and several letters to the editor addressing the fatalities and injuries on our roadways.

These conversations repeat the usual solutions of education and the police enforcement to rectify driver inattention, distraction and aggression while encouraging courtesy and respect for fellow drivers. Police, basically, being the hall monitors of our streets.

Is this working for us? Things are stacked against us and our police force to cause lasting change for safe mobility on our streets. Road design elements determine safety on our streets, making all users choose better.

“Vision Zero” is a design concept we need in Yakima. Vision Zero is an international movement that aims to reduce traffic deaths and life-changing injuries to zero, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero has been adopted and proven effective in U.S. cities and worldwide, reducing death and injury on their streets.

Yes, I agree, 97% of drivers are courteous and care, however, we need the forethought to reduce the influence of the other percentage. Vision Zero understands people are human, make mistakes and are vulnerable. This system differs from conventional safety practices by being human-centered through a more aggressive use of roadway design and operational changes rather than relying primarily on behavioral change; a design fulling integrating the needs of all users traveling by foot, wheelchair, bike, motorcycle, car or truck. Vision Zero builds for people.

Vision Zero streets enhance traffic flow while providing safety for all users by reducing excessive speeds. A key component for safety is using the modern roundabout. Carmel, Ind., a city…

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