Vision Zero Cities
October 19 - 23, 2020
From October 19 through 23, Transportation Alternatives will bring together leading industry and policy experts, advocates, and elected officials for the fifth annual Vision Zero Cities Conference, taking place online.
In conjunction with the conference, Transportation Alternatives will publish a fifth edition of the Vision Zero Cities Journal.
Vision Zero is not just a policy goal—it’s an imperative. It is crucial that we continue the push to identify and support the most effective strategies to eliminate every traffic-related death and serious injury.
Join us and participate in the bold and forward-thinking conversations that will help make Vision Zero a reality.
The 2020 Vision Zero Cities Conference will take place on October 22 and 23, 2020. More information coming soon.
The Vision Zero Cities conference is a gathering of hundreds of city officials, advocates, policymakers, planners and engineers who come together to learn, exchange ideas, and strategize about the problems facing modern city streets.
What is Vision Zero?*
Vision Zero is a strategy, adopted by local and national governments around the world, that aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.
Developed in Sweden in 1997, Vision Zero was first brought to the United States in 2014 as a result of Transportation Alternatives' work. After publishing Vision Zero: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year* and collecting more than 4,500 letters from activists and crash survivors, Transportation Alternatives convinced mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio to adopt Vision Zero at the city level.
In the winter of 2014, Mayor de Blasio committed to a two-decade goal of eliminating all traffic deaths and serious injuries on New York City streets. Transportation Alternatives is fighting make sure that the promise of Vision Zero is met.
This year's conference themes include:
Safe and Sustainable: Urban transportation policy for a changing climateVision Zero Everywhere: Breaking down barriers and adapting successes for cities big and smallUnbiased and Unflinching: The case for automated enforcementWhose Streets? Intersectional Vision Zero for equitable outcomes
Please note all programming is subject to change.
Day 1 (October 10)
This fall, we will be welcoming New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to this year’s Vision Zero Cities conference as keynote speakers.
At 8:00 am:
Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has built more than 82 miles of protected bike lanes over the last five years, and her data-driven approach to Vision Zero has helped New York City buck the national trend of increasing traffic deaths.
And at 3:45pm:
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who has become a champion for “breaking the car culture,” recently introduced a bill to create a master plan which would dramatically alter how street space is allocated in New York City.
In addition to our keynote speakers, Transportation Alternatives is happy to announce a selection of day one breakout sessions from 9:15 am to 3:00pm:
At 9:15am to 10:15am, three sessions:
The National Crisis: Understanding the New Rise in American Traffic Fatalities. After decades of decline, traffic fatalities are on a shocking rise across America, most notably affecting people walking and cycling. This panel will address the national crisis, how SUVs and cellphones are contributing, and the places where innovative Vision Zero solutions are stemming the tide. Featuring:
Moderator: Amy Cohen, Co-Founder, Families for Safe Streets
Barron Lerner, Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Health
Kea Wilson, Director of Community Engagement, Strong Towns
Tackling Vision Zero in Smaller and Suburban Cities. In cities with urban streetscapes, the struggles to adopt Vision Zero are different than bigger cities. Street geometries don’t afford the same design change opportunities, negotiations are multijurisdictional, and instigating culture change may involve different tactics. This panel will share how smaller cities are approaching safer streets while supporting the needs of their community and leading Vision Zero efforts. Featuring:
Moderator: Tom Klein, Landscape and Urban Designer, Stantec
David Dixon, Leader, Urban Places Planning and Urban Design, Stantec
Alyson Fletcher, Senior Associate, Nelson\Nygaard
Cynthia Gibson, Executive Director, Idaho Walk Bike Alliance
Ryan Sharp, Director of Transportation and Parking, City of Hoboken
Tear It Down! Transforming Urban Highways. We must reckon with the racist history and legacy of urban planning. As certain infrastructure ends, how can we repurpose highways in urban areas, instead of merely replacing them as they exist today? Transportation solutions do not live in a vacuum. This panel is an opportunity to link conversations about affordable housing, poverty, and disability with transit deserts. Featuring:
Moderator: Nicole Gelinas, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Gary Toth, Executive Vice President, Project for Public Spaces
Sydney Céspedes, Planner, Pratt Center
Aaron Gordon, Senior Reporter, Investigations & Technology, Jalopnik
At 10:30am to 11:30am, there are four panels:
Examining the Green New Deal: Vision Zero’s Environmental Wing. This panel will consider how safe and sustainable transportation modes, with pedestrianized development patterns, are crucial to emerging frameworks promising to revolutionize the economy. What should we expect of leaders working to change our relationship to energy, the economy, and the environment, and how might they integrate transportation in these discussions of America's future? Featuring:
Moderator: Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters
Chio Valerio-Gonzalez, Campaign Director for Transform Don't Trash, Align NY
Daniel Aldana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Julia Salazar, State Senator, 18th District, New York State Senate
The Past and Present: Creating Inclusive and Equitable Streets and Transportation Options. As cities work towards safe streets and better transportation, they have a responsibility to ensure it is done inclusively and equitably. We must ask: which systemic inequities exist today? What is the effect of past policies? This panel will discuss what policy makers, advocates, and private mobility companies must learn from past and present conditions experiences as we move forward. Featuring:
Moderator: Shin-pei Tsay, Founder and CEO, Make Public, Director of Policy, Cities and Transportation, Uber
Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Member, 10th District, New York City Council
Nily Rozic, New York State Assemblywoman, 25th District, New York State Assembly
Who Pays? The Rise of Congestion Pricing in the U.S. Reducing vehicle miles traveled and getting cars off the road is one of the most effective, yet overlooked methods to reduce traffic crashes. This session features global perspectives on the importance of congestion pricing, lessons from New York after passing the first congestion pricing scheme in the U.S., and insights from experts on supporting fairer fares and incentivizing green transportation. Featuring:
Moderator: Emma Fitzsimmons, Transit Reporter, New York Times
Rebecca Bailin, Political Director, Riders Alliance
Veronica Vanterpool, Principal, V Squared Strategies
Charles Komanoff, Director, Carbon Tax Center
Ya-Ting Liu, Director of Government Affairs and Policy, Via
Kate Slevin, Senior Vice President, State Programs & Advocacy, Regional Plan Association
Setting the Standard: Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices for Motor Vehicle Fleets. Large trucks account disproportionately for deaths and serious injuries, and drivers of private and government vehicles help set the tone for either safe or reckless driving by all motorists. This panel will discuss best practices for fleet management -- from municipal fleets, to private waste haulers, taxis, for-hire-vehicle companies, freight truck companies, and large retailers. Featuring:
Moderator: Noah Budnick, Senior Director, Programs & Operations, Together for Safer Roads
Keith Kerman, Chief Fleet Officer and Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Tiffany-Ann Taylor, Deputy Director, New York City Department of Transportation
Peter Binham, Freight & Fleet Programme Manager, Transport for London
Meera Joshi, Former Commissioner, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
Totaro Neto, Global Corporate Affairs Director, Anheuser-Busch
At 11:30am to 12:30pm, lunch will be served.
At 12:30 pm to 1:30pm, there will be four panels:
Emerging Mobility and Safe Streets: Scooters, E-Bikes, and Autonomous Vehicles. As micromobility and connected vehicle technologies are integrated into street design, is there potential for shifting the street hierarchy to promote Vision Zero goals? How should street networks respond to maximize the safety of users and the public? Finally, where do public agencies and public private partnerships sit in relation to reorganizing street space around safety? Featuring:
Moderator: Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Specialist, New York City Department of Transportation
Colin Hughes, Head of Policy, Bikes and Scooters, JUMP | Uber
Philip Jones, Senior Government Relations Director - New York, New Jersey & National Cities Initiative, Lime
Do Lee, Assistant Professor, Queens College
Willa Ng, Director of Mobility - Streets, Sidewalk Labs
Community Participation: Extending Democratic Solutions. Design improvements to transportation have increasingly had to negotiate community participation. There has been debate about going beyond our backyards, but less about making community participation more robust in the public process. How can we ensure community buy-in? Can we avoid technocratic solutionism by incorporating grassroots organizing? Is there untapped potential in leveraging technology to attract and engage new voices? Featuring:
Moderator: Tom DeVito, Director of Advocacy, Transportation Alternatives
Helen Ho, Principal, Karp Strategies, Co-Founder, Biking Public Project
Michael Hobbes, Senior Enterprise Reporter, Huffington Post
Sarah Labowitz, Assistant Director, Policy and Communications, City of Houston
Antonio Reynoso, City Council Member, 34th District, New York City Council
Fairness, Justice and Accountability: The Role and Limits of Law Enforcement in Vision Zero. This panel will tackle one of the most challenging issues: the post-crash role of law enforcement. How do we create a justice and enforcement system that responds to victims and families with respect, recognizes their loss and frustration, and imposes effective legal sanctions to deter dangerous driving, while also balancing the need for a humane, fair, and equitable response? Featuring:
Moderator: Steve Vaccaro, Principal, Vaccaro and White
Eric Gonzalez, District Attorney, Brooklyn District Attorney's Office
Dan Quart, New York State Assemblyman, District 73, New York State Assembly
Bernadette Karna, Families for Safe Streets
Who Owns What? Sorting Out the Mess of Intergovernmental Coordination. Mayors commit to Vision Zero, but state roads in their cities pose big problems. Many cities, including Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, have local roads controlled by their state DOT, and in many cases they are some of the most dangerous. This panel will discuss antiquated policies that prohibit cities from testing new frontiers to address inaccessibility. Featuring:
Moderator: Leah Shahum, Founder & Executive Director, Vision Zero Network
Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, Smart Growth America
Shamsi Soltani, Vision Zero Epidemiologist, San Francisco Department of Public Health
At 1:45 pm to 2:45 pm, there will be three panels:
New Accessibility Solutions and Street Design: Designing for the Needs of All. What emerging assistive technologies ensure people of all abilities have equal access to streets? How do new voice assistants, street assistant kiosks, and wayfinding interfaces promise greater pedestrian access? How do street designs respond and integrate these options to enhance safety? This panel relates Vision Zero design principles to the many ways accessibility is being integrated into the streetscape. Featuring:
Moderator: Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities
Ruth Fasoldt, Director of External Affairs, Intersection
Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Specialist, New York City Department of Transportation
Chancey Fleet, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, New York Public Library
Bridging the Gap: Vision Zero and Public Health Data Collection. With a lack of transportation planning and policy frameworks which integrate non-single occupancy vehicle mobility, public health data collection has emerged as a resource for better mobility design and monitoring. This panel will place Vision Zero in context of public health data collection and analysis, and in general, situating safe mobility options and design in a public health framework. Featuring:
Moderator: Veronica Vanterpool, V Squared Strategies
Shamsi Soltani, Vision Zero Epidemiologist, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Margarita Reina, Senior Epidemiologist, Chicago Department of Public Health
New Frontiers in Safety Technologies. Attitudes towards automated traffic enforcement, enforcement apps, and safety coordination have diverged. In June 2019, New York State authorized a historic expansion of New York City’s speed safety camera program while Texas banned automated red-light cameras statewide. This panel will juxtapose these developments and discuss the state of data collection and enforcement technology in the U.S. Featuring:
Moderator: Marco Conner, Co-Deputy Director, Transportation Alternatives
Joshua Benson, Deputy Commissioner for Traffic Operations, New York City Department of Transportation
Melissa Wandall, President, National Coalition of Safer Roads
Charles Territo, Senior Vice President, Verra Mobility
Story Bellows, Principal, CityFi
At 3pm there will be a reflection by Leah Shahum, Founder and Executive Director, Vision Zero Network, followed by our keynote from Corey Johnson, Speaker, New York City Council. This will be followed at 4:00pm by a closing reception, and an after party at 5:00pm at Amity Hall, 982 Amsterdam Avenue.
Day 2 (October 11)
Vision Zero in the Media: A Walkthrough. In this session, the audience gets an inside view of reporting on traffic safety from experts in the field. Attendees will be able to voice their challenges in communicating issues as well as transportation safety in order to get their message out in a clear and effective manner. Also, the wider context of changes in messaging on car culture and road safety will be explored: How did reporting culture get changed over the years: what did it change from and what did it change to? What are the most effective strategies for engaging and leveraging the power of an audience? This series of walkthroughs presents a discussion of the inside working of media, considerations of how to expand media presence, and tips on how advocates can advance their message.
Gersh Kuntzman, Editor-in-Chief, Streetsblog
Clayton Guse, Transit and Data Reporter, New York Daily News
Joe Cutrufo, Communications Director, Transportation Alternatives
Rachel Maisler, Founder and CEO of Wonk Policy & Communications
Kea Wilson, Director of Community Engagement, Strong Towns
Your City, Your Voice 101. Two sessions on practical and implementable lessons learned in Transportation Alternative's years of hyper-local, grassroots political activism. Absorb the tools and tactics that contributed to winning campaigns to change New York’s speed limit, and introduce innovations like protected bike lanes, bike share, and speed cameras to city streets. You’ll be taught how to engage with your neighbors and organize a successful local campaign. These are valuable lessons that could apply to the fight for a protected bike lane, or an effort to protect a community garden, or a campaign to advocate for better food access for your community.
Tom DeVito, Director of Advocacy, Transportation Alternatives
Biking tour. An uptown bike tour highlighting the results of TransAlt advocacy, including the Columbus Avenue protected bike lane was the result of sustained TransAlt advocacy from 2010-2013, the Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane (59th-110th) and the road diet (110th-155th) was the result of sustained advocacy from 2013-2019.
Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer, Transportation Alternatives
Amril Hamer, Bronx Organizer, Transportation Alternatives
Using Data for Advocacy: A Walkthrough with TransitCenter, BetaNYC, and TransAlt. An exploration with practical techniques and strategies for advocates using data to inform Departments of Transportation, elected officials, and key stakeholders about advocate concerns. Includes exploratory exercises to identify data needs in advocacy efforts, case studies in identifying pragmatic and useful insights, and background on developing an narrative in which data advances advocate design ideas.
Steven Higashide, Director of Research, TransitCenter
Mary Buchanan, Researcher, TransitCenter
Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director, BetaNYC
Michael Johnduff, Research and Conference Manager, Transportation Alternatives
Colin Wright, Senior Advocacy Associate, TransitCenter
Families for Safe Streets: Transform How Your Community Confronts Traffic Violence (1:30PM - 5PM) Do your legislative and policy efforts keep meeting resistance that you cannot overcome? Were you personally impacted in a crash and want to channel your grief into action? Do you have an FSS chapter but it is not as effective as you’d like it to be? Families for Safe Streets (FSS) is transforming how we talk about traffic violence and has made it possible to implement solutions previously thought politically untenable. Come hear from FSS members from across the country and learn how you can recruit, engage and support crash victims. This work is very difficult but, when done right, it has tremendous potential. In this participatory workshop, we will explore together how we can give voice to crash victims in your community so that together we can end the epidemic of traffic violence.
Walking/Bike tour. A mixed walking and CitiBike tour of the 14th Street busway and downtown. The tour will involve the busway on 14th Street and the bike lanes on 12th and 13th Street which is the object of sustained advocacy from 2016 to 2019. The tour will continue on CitiBikes along the Delancey Street bike lane, which was a campaign from 2017-2018, and along Chrystie Street bike lane, which was a campaign in 2015. The tour will continue through the Meatpacking District and conclude with a ride through Chinatown.
Chelsea Yamada, Manhattan Organizer, Transportation Alternatives
Erwin Figueroa, Senior Organizer, Transportation Alternatives
Families for Safe Streets
Kelly-Nacht Families for Safe Streets Training Institute, Saturday 10/12
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash, please join for the Kelly-Nacht FSS Training Institute on Saturday, October 12th. This is a unique opportunity to hone your advocacy skills, sharpen your media interviewing and learn how to turn pain into purpose. This is very hard work. So many of us came with no background or expertise but we want to make a difference. Join with us and learn more. The full-day training is being offered free of charge.To register, click here.
FSS Run Walk Roll 5K Sunday, October 13, 9am-12pm
Please join Families for Safe Streets for its first annual FSS 5K Run Walk Roll on Sunday, October 13th in Hudson River Park. This is a unique opportunity to mark what we’ve accomplished in our first five years and to honor those who have been killed and injured in traffic crashes. It will also help us raise the critical funds needed to keep our work going. The event is ideal for all ages. We expect people will be running, walking, pushing strollers, rolling in wheelchairs and more. To register as a participant or make a donation, click here. Or to join us as an individual or team fundraiser, click here. (Current FSS chapters or those in formation can keep a portion of the proceeds to fund your local work.)
New York City - Venue Coming Soon
Hotels with Discounts for Conference Attendees
Royal Park Hotel, 285 W 97th Street, New York, NY 10025 (1.1 miles from Columbia University)
Call to reserve: (212) 665-7434 and mention the Vision Zero Cities Conference
Discount only available up to 9/9, for reservations from 10/9-10/11
One double bed + private bath at $199 + tax per nightTwo double beds + private bath at $239 + tax per nightNew York City tax is 14.75% + $3.50 occupancy tax per day, per roomPorterage is complimentary upon arrivalReservations must be cancelled in writing or via direct phone callFull refund will be given for cancellations up to 7 days prior1-6 days prior to arrival, 50% of the total balance will be forfeitedDay of arrival, 100% forfeited
New York Hotel Group, Various locations
Call or email to reserve: (212) 678-6500, firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Vision Zero Cities Conference
Discount only available for reservations from 10/9-10/13
10% off stays at any hotels within the Group.New York City tax is 14.75% + $3.50 occupancy tax per day, per room
Aloft Harlem, 2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027
Follow the link above or call to reserve: (866) 961-2995 and mention the Vision Zero Cities Conference
Discount only available for reservations from 10/7-10/13
Rooms available for $270 - $280 per nightNew York City tax is 14.75% + $3.50 occupancy tax per day, per room
On arriving at the 116th street station, exit at the north exit, which is left exiting the train to the platform. The north exit involves ascending one floor, at the end of which is a turnstile, turning right, and exiting another floor. From the exit, the entrance is 500 feet straight ahead, past 115th Street, and on the left. Guides will be available at the front entrance.
Vision Zero Cities Journal
Vision Zero Cities: International Journal of Traffic Safety Innovation showcases a global collection of bright ideas, game-changing innovation, and insightful best practices in engineering, advocacy, and urban design.
Published annually and released at the Vision Zero Cities Conference in New York City, Vision Zero Cities features voices from academia, experts in the field, and the activists and communities members at the front-lines of many critical traffic safety conversations. We publish the people who are working towards Vision Zero around the globe.
Anyone is welcome to submit a proposal for an article. Learn how to submit here.
You can read past issues of Vision Zero Cities by clicking on the issue below.
Editorial inquiries should be directed to email@example.com. To advertise or subscribe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit to the Vision Zero Cities Journal
Submissions are now open for the 2020 issue of Vision Zero Cities!
Anyone is welcome to submit a Vision Zero Cities article proposal, regardless of affiliation. Articles are approved on the basis of proposals. Please do not send finished articles. Read all guidelines below before submitting.
Vision Zero Cities seeks to publish insightful and forward-thinking articles about advances in alternative transportation, traffic safety, and Vision Zero. We like big ideas and fresh takes on the most pressing issues in the transportation community. We are particularly interested in conversations about race, economics, and equity in the field; real-world stories of political victory; innovative engineering; and street design that subverts the dominant paradigm.
To express an interest in writing for Vision Zero Cities, send a 250-500 word proposal describing your thesis and evidence, as well as your qualifications. Note: academic affiliations are not a requirement to publish in Vision Zero Cities. Qualifications come in many forms; just tell us about yourself.
The upcoming issue of Vision Zero Cities will be published in October 2020. Proposals should be submitted no later than April 1, 2020 -- but the sooner the better. Send proposals or any questions you may have to email@example.com.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions concerning accessibility accommodation.
Email email@example.com for information on sponsoring the Vision Zero Cities conference
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, email address and the nature of your inquiry
General event and other inquiries
Email email@example.com with the subject line "Vision Zero Cities Conference"
You may also call Transportation Alternatives' main office line at 212-629-8080.
When do prices increase?
Individual Registration increases to $450, Premium Registration increases to $675, and Deluxe Registration increases to $1,200 on July 31, 2019.
Will I be able to register for day 2 workshops?
Yes! Day 2 registration will open later this summer. At that time, Deluxe and Premium ticket-holders will be able to select their choices, and Individual registrants and the general public will be able to register (for an additional cost) for day 2 workshops.
Are meals included in the conference registration?
Day 1 includes a light breakfast, lunch, and drinks and appetizers at the closing reception.
Is there a nonprofit/student rate available?
Limited, discounted nonprofit and student tickets are available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
I can no longer attend - can I have a refund for my registration?
No, registrations are not refundable. You are able to transfer your ticket, however. E-mail email@example.com in advance to arrange for a name change.
How do I purchase a vendor table or sponsor the Conference?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about sponsorship opportunities.
Are discounted hotels available?
Yes! View a list of discounted hotels.
Can I volunteer for the conference?
There is currently a waitlist for volunteers. If interested, please e-mail email@example.com.
I have more questions!
No problem! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Access provided: the location is accessible to individuals using wheelchairs and other mobility devices; Sign Language Interpreters are provided; printed materials are provided in Braille; printed materials are provided in large print.