Safer City Streets Network: 2nd Meeting
The 2nd meeting of the Safer City Streets network took place on 7-8 December 2017 in Brussels. The meeting was jointly organised by the ITF and the POLIS network, in coordination with the POLIS conference.
A total of 53 participants took part in the Safer City Streets meeting, in which 11 cities were represented: Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Kiev, London, Los Angeles, Malta, New York City, Rome, The Hague. The meeting was an opportunity to review the recent key developments in relation to urban road safety. Parts of the agenda were dedicated to cycling safety, risk indicators, mobility statistics, crash data systems, health data sources and road safety policies.
ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim opened the Safer City Streets meeting and congratulated Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, as Los Angeles became the 45th city to join the network. Ms Reynolds, in the opening session, explained that road safety has known benefits well beyond reducing casualties: its makes it possible for people to walk and cycle more, choosing healthy clean affordable options. Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General of POLIS, also considered road safety as of ultimate importance in cities where sustainable mobility cannot develop without people feeling safe on the streets.
Linda Meleo, Councillor for Mobility at the City of Rome highlighted the need to protect vulnerable road users, including the older population which makes up the majority of pedestrian fatalities. Rome launched a Vision Zero programme in 2016 and is integrating road safety in its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Rome was an early member of the Safer City Streets network, shares road safety data with the ITF and offered to host the next meeting on 11-12 April 2018.
The second day of the meeting was hosted by the VIAS institute, formerly known as the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI). VIAS presented some of their innovative and cost-effective survey solutions on attitudes/behaviours/mobility, offering the possibility to cities (not only national governments) to adopt such surveys.
New York City was represented for the first time in a network meeting. Seth Hostetter, Director of Safety Analytics and Mapping, New York City DOT, delivered presentations on crash data mapping applications, on solutions for matching traffic crash and hospitalisation records, and on New York City’s bicycle safety data and action plan.
Lewis Dijkstra, Deputy Head of the Economic Analysis Unit, European Commission DG REGIO, presented some of his team’s findings, by degree of urbanisation, revealing a much greater risk of fatality in rural areas. He also presented data on travel patterns in cities, data which was collected as part of the State of European Cities Report 2016.
The ITF Safer City Streets initiative offers a platform for road safety experts working with cities to share their experience and build a global dataset for urban road safety and mobility. It was launched in October 2016 at the UN Habitat III Conference. Thanks to the support of the FIA Road Safety Grant programme, as well as the support from the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), it has grown rapidly to include more than 40 cities.
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