Training, Partnerships, and Outreach

Establishing and maintaining strong stakeholder partnerships is a key component of a successful Vision Zero program. Vision Zero representatives from Durham, Richmond, and Seattle shared highlights of their approaches to training, internal and external partnerships, and strategies for outreach to communities.

The City of Durham has established an innovative process to ensure that Vision Zero remains a focus across city departments and city administrations: incorporating Vision Zero training into new employee orientation. This practice creates continuity across city leadership and departments and demonstrates the level of importance Vision Zero has in Durham.

The City of Richmond’s Vision Zero Task Force provides a forum for multiple city departments to discuss Vision Zero prioritization efforts in support of traffic safety. The city’s Vision Zero coordinator helps to navigate differences among city departments and engages community, non-profit, private, regional, State, and Federal resources. Richmond frames Vision Zero as a public health problem. It works with State and regional entities in the public health field to establish a shared approach and terminology for Vision Zero. Transportation and public health organizations share data in order to better direct resources to areas with the greatest need. This health and transportation partnership also allows the city to leverage and engage more partners and obtain additional funding for Vision Zero implementation.

The City of Seattle’s Vision Zero program is a notable example of how communities can make connections with diverse stakeholders in order to broadly communicate the goals of Vision Zero. Seattle developed a two-minute video called “Vision Zero People on the Street” that will be translated into multiple languages to help engage and build trust among different communities. The city also developed a toolkit that guides staff in the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies, initiatives, and programs so that they have equal impact on the diverse communities in Seattle. This helps counteract the greater level of influence that some communities have compared to others simply because they more actively participate in city government or are more vocal in expressing their perspectives.

In addition, the city developed the Seattle Streets Illustrated Map tool to help communicate to the public the function of each road segment in the city and how the city treats the road as a result. The map identifies whether a road is a low-stress route where bicycling is prioritized, a primary transit corridor, a major freight route, etc.


The City of Seattle harnesses technology and data to strategically improve roadway safety. Seattle has created an Open Data Web Mapping Platform that includes information about roadway geometry, traffic volumes, utility locations, land use, landscaping features, and crash records (see image at right). This platform serves as a way to control the quality of data and associated data analyses. Based on these data, Seattle developed a predictive model to identify locations for likely crashes of different types. This analysis helps the city proactively and systematically implement countermeasures as indicated by the likely crash type and counteract the underreporting of crashes.

Speed Management

The City of Portland developed a campaign titled “Struck” that focuses on the human toll of high speeds. The campaign uses billboards, posters on buses, online media, television, and advertisements in movie theaters to communicate the message. Key to the campaign’s success has been its consistency in branding across media: campaign materials use the same colors, fonts, and logo. The city hired a marketing and production firm to create what became one of the most impactful elements of the campaign: a video entitled “Struck: Save Two Lives.” Portland’s research showed that almost 60 percent of viewers reported that the video had an impact on their driving behavior.

In addition to the Struck campaign, the city has produced materials with the slogan “20 is Plenty” to promote adherence to the city’s 20 mph speed limit. The city created “20 is Plenty” lawn signs and flyers with educational notes about safety and the victims of traffic crashes. Portland’s goal is to educate drivers about the potential consequences of their actions by focusing on the human toll of high speeds and encouraging citizens to drive within the speed limit.

Seattle has also implemented physical road design changes to help achieve Vision Zero. As noted above, it has reduced the speed limit on residential streets to 20 mph and added traffic calming measures to many roads—including chicanes, roundabouts, speed humps, and raised crossings—that create a comfortable driving speed of just 15 mph. In addition, Seattle is implementing Neighborhood Greenways to provide continuous, low-stress routes throughout the city.

Future Actions