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Vision Zero simply means that no one should die or be seriously injured while driving, walking, biking, or using a wheelchair on the transportation system. Originally adopted in Sweden in 1997, Vision Zero focuses on the effective use of data, enforcement, education, and engineering as a new approach to traffic safety. A Vision Zero plan should honor and build upon existing traffic safety programs, but also challenge the status quo.


Data-driven approaches are important, but it needs to be balanced with the human element of traffic safety. We understand cities want to develop data-driven action plans; that’s one of the hallmarks of the Vision Zero approach. At the same time, it is important to remember that Vision Zero is fundamentally about preventing people from dying or being seriously injured on our roadways. Each traffic fatality or serious injury is someone’s parent, child, significant other, friend, and/or co-worker.


Equity must be part of the plan. A disproportionate burden of traffic-related deaths and serious injuries are in communities of color, low-income households, among older adults, young people, people with disabilities, and people with limited English proficiency. Transportation equity focuses on providing each community with the strategies they need to be safe. Part of that is understanding the crash data in those areas; the other critical part of the story can only be gathered by talking directly with people in the communities of concern.

Public bikes parked in their stations displaying a Vision Zero DC Logo in the front basket

As the prime contractor, Nspiregreen led a consultant team to engage the public and develop the content and strategies for the vision zero action plan. The public engagement effort included bus shelter ads, bikeshare station ads, 10 public awareness events on the street, youth summit, bikeshare campaign, and social media. The feedback from the public awareness events was used to develop the priorities of the strategies in the action plan. 

Partial poster showing data in form of maps and infographics

As the prime contractor, Nspiregreen led a consultant team to engage the public and develop the content and supporting graphics for the Vision Zero Action Plan. Following on the heels of the Vision Zero Action Plan for the District of Columbia, Alexandria sought to marry best practices from the District as well as other jurisdictions that had Vision Zero Plans with public engagement, data, and interagency working groups.

Partial poster displaying ads with photos of women

Nspiregreen supported the implementation of the two-year action plan. Specifically, we helped the County advance three strategies: 

  1. an equity framework specific to Montgomery County that outlined a vision and guiding principles.

  2. a campaign to bring awareness of the dangers of distracted driving; and 

  3. a joint incident management plan for police and fire and rescue to improve the safety of emergency personnel safe responding to a traffic crash.


2016 American Planning Association

Nation Capital Area Chapter Harold Foster Award for Distinction in Community Outreach and Engagement (Overall Public Engagement)

2016 Communicator Award of Distinction


2015 MARCOM Gold Award for Government Website Design



Safe Streets for Communities Large and Small

Poster, 2023 Vision Zero PHL Conference, Pennsylvania, PA (2023) 

Transportation, Equity, and Vision Zero

Guest Lecturer, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2017)

Building the Vision Zero Plan for the District of Columbia with the Public and Stakeholders

Presentation, Urban Street Symposium, Raleigh, NC (2017)


Winning over the Public to Vision Zero

Panelist, Vision Zero Summit, Washington, DC (2017)

Biking, Equity, & Inclusion (and Other Stuff)

Keynote, Annual Harrisonburg & Rockingham Bike-Walk Summit, Harrisonburg, VA (2016)

Changing People’s Environment through Safe Transportation

Presentation, Mega Viernes, San Juan, PR (2016)

Finding the Missing Links to Create a Connected Place: Vision Zero

Presentation, Makeover Montgomery, Silver Spring, MD (2016)

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