SBY traffic deaths, serious injuries down as city continues Vision Zero project
SALISBURY, Md. – Tuesday night, Salisbury City Council reviewed progress made in the City’s Vision Zero project.
SBY Road Deaths, Serious Injuries Down
Vision Zero is aimed at reducing, and ultimately eliminating, traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Salisbury. The rest of the nation saw an increase in those numbers during 2020 and 2021. However, Salisbury’s Transportation Project Specialist Will White says, it’s a different story in the City.
“Traffic fatalities and serious injuries are down in Salisbury, which is a bucking of the trend nationally… We also have had a drop in pedestrian and bike crashes, which is, again, bucking the trend nationally,” said White. “For years, the design of streets nationally has been more highway-like, favoring speed and through put of vehicles over other factors. That has been shifting in recent years. Salisbury is at the forefront, especially for a small to mid-sized city.”
Mayor Jake Day says the dip in numbers is thanks to various initiatives contained within Vision Zero, including reducing City speed limits, and improving road infrastructure. “Enforcement and public education and largely ineffective compared to engineering. You can produce huge benefits from changing the way streets are designed,” he said.
As the project enters year three, Mayor Day says the focus remains on improving safety on local roads. “We have incomplete pedestrian infrastructure in our city, we have incomplete cyclist infrastructure in our city, we have poorly designed road structure in the city,” he said. “You’ll see lots of interventions. Some of them are identifying major accident areas, like Riverside Road and South Boulevard.”
White says drivers can expect more construction and improvements over the next year. “You’ll start to see more neighborhood traffic-calming initiatives, like on South Boulevard, speed humps, and other features. College Avenue is imminent, coming this summer,” he said. “We’ll have more bikeway construction, with it being higher level in quality. They’re becoming more and more separated, instead of just paint. This is an evolution of best practice. There will be more sidewalk construction and [Americans with Disabilities Act] updates, things like that.”
Mayor Day is asking residents hitting the roads for patience as future improvements begin. “I think what people have to get used to is the acknowledgement that as a society and a city, we are prioritizing human life over convenience,” he said.