The protected cycle track on Spragins Street in Huntsville, AL includes connected infrastructure technology. The traffic signals respond to the presence of bicyclists and gives them priority to safely navigate the intersection. (Photo: Mark McCarter, Huntsville City Blog)
After the success of the inaugural Safe Streets Academy, the National Complete Streets Coalition is excited to work with three more cities to test out strategies that improve safety for all people who use the street. The three winning cities will work with us and each other over the course of the next 10 months to implement demonstration projects that use proven safety countermeasures, tactical urbanism, and emerging technologies to slow down traffic and create safer streets.
Nationwide, the number of people struck and killed by cars while walking or bicycling has reached an all time high. But there are a host of proven street design elements and engineering tools that can improve safety on our streets for all users regardless of age, ability, income, race, or mode of transportation. Emerging technologies are also changing the way people navigate cities, leading to new challenges—and opportunities—for creating safer streets. So how can cities apply these street designs and technologies to transform their streets into safer places for people?
The Safe Streets, Smart Cities Academy will assist three jurisdictions as they learn from national experts, collaborate with one another, and discuss best practices in engineering, tactical urbanism, creative placemaking, community engagement, and emerging technologies. The National Complete Streets Coalition is committed to eliminating traffic deaths on our streets and equipping cities with the tools they need to make this vision a reality. As part of this effort, we are excited to continue this technical assistance program thanks to a Safe Systems Innovation Grant from the Road to Zero Coalition.
Announcing the winners
After a very competitive application process, we are excited to announce the winners of the Safe Streets, Smart Cities Academy:
Durham, North Carolina has already taken advantage of new mobility technologies to create better first-mile/last-mile connections by launching pilot projects with Uber and with dockless bike share companies. The Academy will help them build on that work and incorporate tactical urbanism and other techniques to create safer street environments where everyone can thrive.
Huntsville, Alabama has experimented with connected infrastructure technologies to detect bicyclists approaching intersections. Through this technical assistance, they’ll learn more about how technologies like these, along with other traffic calming techniques, can help them protect the most vulnerable people who use their streets.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania created a new Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to respond to emerging opportunities to create safer streets thanks to new mobility technologies. By working with the National Complete Streets Coalition and the other two cities in the Academy, they’ll work toward establishing new processes and best practices to embed a safe streets approach in all their projects and programs.
Congratulations to these three cities.
The Safe Streets Academy is funded by Road to Zero, a coalition of more than 800 organizations committed to reducing traffic fatalities in the United States to zero over the next three decades. The coalition holds quarterly meetings to discuss innovative research and strategies and offers tools, resources, and grants to support safer streets nationwide.