Madison’s Focus on Prioritizing Safety is Forward Thinking


On January 27, 2022, the US Department of Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, announced the federal government’s new comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap for addressing the national crisis in roadway fatalities and serious injuries. This strategy is the first step at the national level in working toward the long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities.

“I want to thank Secretary Buttigieg and USDOT for creating a comprehensive approach to transportation safety and for calling on communities across America to reduce and eventually eliminate serious injuries and deaths on our roadways,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “In Madison, we are committed to creating an environment where the community feels safe on our streets when walking, biking, taking transit or driving to work, school or wherever they may need to go. Working together with the community, we will build a positive safety culture and improve our design and construction process to ensure that our streets are accessible for all people regardless of their age, ability, gender, race or method of travel.”

The National Roadway Safety Strategy adopts the “Safe Systems Approach,” an approach that prioritizes eliminating fatal and serious injury crashes, that designs a system that accounts for human mistakes and vulnerability and that focuses on the shared responsibility for safety. This is the same approach that the City of Madison is taking with the Vision Zero initiative. Madison committed to the goal of Zero deaths on our roadways during the summer of 2020. The City has already begun to implement key actions mentioned by the US DOT such as developing a comprehensive Complete Streets implementation plan, setting safer speed limits that account for the safety of all users, and designing roadways that facilitate safe travel by people walking and biking.

One of the key actions the US DOT is taking is investing in road safety through funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The City of Madison is prepared to work collaboratively with both the US DOT and Wisconsin DOT to address road safety. One requirement of funding through the Safe Streets and Roads for All is a safety plan such as Madison’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which is being finalized right now.

“When the federal government, state government and city government unite to create safety for all, that is how we make real change,” said Yang Tao, City Traffic Engineer. “We are excited to work together using the Safe Systems Approach to save lives and eliminate life-altering traffic crashes.”

For more information about Madison’s participation and leadership in this nationwide initiative, visit our Vision Zero website.

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