MONTEREY COUNTY — Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) announced that U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta has secured $640,000 in federal funding for TAMC to develop a Monterey County Regional Vision Zero Plan.
The Monterey County Regional Vision Zero Plan will be a comprehensive county-wide safety action plan developed by TAMC in collaboration with partner agencies and other stakeholders to promote coordinated solutions to reduce fatalities and injuries due to traffic collisions in Monterey County.
“Each year, 42,000 Americans are killed in traffic collisions, tragedies that might have been prevented through proper roadway safety measures,” said Panetta, when discussing the funding secured through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grants program.
He added that he was “proud to secure a significant federal investment to support local efforts to make our streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Those types of infrastructure improvements will get us closer to our vision of zero deaths or serious injuries on roadways as we work to improve public safety throughout our home in California’s 19th Congressional District.”
Todd Muck, TAMC’s executive director, said the award will build upon the current collaboration between TAMC and Blue Zones Project Monterey County to implement a “Safe Streets Together” public awareness campaign. The campaign’s objective is to raise awareness around shared responsibilities to make Monterey County’s streets safer.
“One fatality is too many. Let’s advocate for changes that will make our streets safer and make it easier to share the road,” Muck said.
Monterey County is one of 235 communities who will receive these U.S. Department of Transportation grants for planning and demonstrations projects to improve safety and help prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg summed it up by saying, “Whether it’s a dangerous intersection or highway, or a need for better bus and bike lanes, no one can better pinpoint a community’s safety needs than the people who actually live and work there.”
Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe — and now it’s gaining momentum in major American cities.
TAMC’s Monterey County Regional Vision Zero Plan will develop individual action plans for the Cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Pacific Grove, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad and the County of Monterey. The Cities of Monterey and Salinas have already adopted Vision Zero Plans.
According to TAMC, adoption of a Vision Zero Plan will make the jurisdiction eligible for further funding to construct the improvements envisioned in the plan.