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Cracked Car Windshield

Photographer: James Noble/The Image Bank RF via Getty Images

CityLab
Transportation

Why ‘Vision Zero’ Hit a Wall

The traffic safety movement has saved lives across the European countries that adopted its principles. But in the U.S., deaths in participating cities have continued to rise. 

Los Angeles, a city famously built around the automobile, has long been a dangerous place to walk. In 2015 a local advocacy group created a map of locations where drivers had struck pedestrians, flagging particular spots — like the Hollywood and Highland intersection — where dozens of collisions occurred in a single year.

The activists found a sympathetic ear in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It is tragic that 200 people are killed each year while moving about our city,” Garcetti said in an August 2015 press release. “I am determined to bring that number down to zero.”