A Bad Year for Traffic Deaths in San Jose, California, But the City Has a Plan for 2020 (Vision Zero Watch)

The City of San Jose adopted a “Vision Zero” policy in 2015, meaning that the city’s decisions on transportation projects and enforcement would be guided by a goal of reducing traffic fatalities to zero. However, since adopting that policy, fatalities have been high, with both 2015 and 2019 tying for the years with the most fatalities in city history. The end of 2019 was particularly brutal, with headlines in the local newspapers blaring, “Timothy Starkey’s Death Points to Uptick in Traffic Fatalities,” “2019 the deadliest year for San Jose pedestrians in decades,” and  “Quest to Make San Jose Streets Safer Crashes into Worsening Pedestrian, Cyclist Injury Stats.”

“It’s clear to see that the trend is for traffic fatalities to trend up. If you’re a Vision Zero City, you want to see them trend down,” explains Jesse Mintz-Roth, the Vision Zero Manager for the City of San Jose.