Collision Reduction Program

In 2015, the City of Bellevue adopted Vision Zero, an initiative aimed at eliminating traffic deaths and serious injury collisions on city streets by the year 2030. Many agencies across the country are adopting similar initiatives. With more than 35,000 people killed in auto related collisions across the country, the problem is extensive requiring a multi-faceted approach with innovative solutions. Bellevue’s Vision Zero initiative brings added emphasis towards eliminating traffic related fatality and serious injuries across the city street network with countermeasures specifically targeted towards these types of serious traffic related occurrences.

Annual collision reduction program

Although Bellevue’s Vision Zero initiative is relatively new, the Transportation Department has been working for many years on reducing the number of collisions on our streets. Each year, the Transportation Department reviews the crashes that occur on its roadways analyzing those intersections and corridors experiencing a higher than typical rate of occurrence. To date, the practice of these analyses have been to:
  • Identify higher collision locations using the number of collisions together with daily volumes to determine a rate of occurrence,
  • Review the higher rate collision intersections and corridors and determine any appropriate countermeasures that could address collision trends,
  • Track collisions for a before and after comparison, and
  • Calculate the cost benefit to the public.

Historically, the effort to reduce collisions on city streets has been a data-driven team oriented approach that develops effective countermeasures for intersections and roadway corridors experiencing a higher than typical rate of collision occurrence. With the Vision Zero initiative, more emphasis will be placed on finding trends in fatal and serious injury collisions. This new emphasis towards achieving the goal of Vision Zero will lead to more in-depth analysis into the causes and circumstance of fatal and serious injury collisions and not just a location based assessment. Understanding the circumstances of the collisions beyond their locations and diving into common threads such as age of driver, lighting conditions and sobriety allows more targeted countermeasures and increased effectiveness overall. Through educational efforts, emphasis enforcements, creative design solutions and other strategies, we believe the Vision Zero objectives are achievable.

Safety focused countermeasures

Bellevue has a broad range of programs and initiatives which set the stage for development of countermeasures specifically focused towards improving roadway safety:

  • Capital Investment Program (CIP): Funds both large and small projects that account for safety oriented approach to improvements.
  • Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services: A division of the Transportation Department dedicated to the livability and safety in neighborhoods through community collaboration and creative problem solving.
  • Pedestrian and Bike Implementation Initiative: The PBII targets specific corridor improvements that not only more conveniently accommodate pedestrians and cyclists but also provides enhancements towards safety of all users.
  • Street and Signal Maintenance: Dedicated crews that proactively maintain the City's infrastructure helps ensure a safe traveling environment for all modes of transportation.
  • Traffic Engineering: A division of the Transportation Department that provides innovative approaches and sound engineering practices in the design and management of the City’s transportation network.
  • Police Enforcement: Close collaboration between departments to address safety concerns on the roadways.

National recognition

The City of Bellevue's Transportation Department has been recognized nationally for its work in transportation safety including:

  • Transportation Achievement Award for Safety (2017); Institute of Transportation Engineers
  • Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative Award; Pedestrian and Bike Implementation Initiative (2016)
  • Walk Friendly Communities Silver Award; highlighting safe practices (2013)
  • APWA's Exceptional Performance for Journalism; Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program (2013)
  • FHWA's Transportation Planning Excellence Award (2012)
  • FHWA's National Highway Safety Awards; Collision Reduction Program (2003)
More can be found at Bellevue’s Vision Zero initiative.


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