Edmonton Safe Mobility Strategy
A new generation of Vision Zero actions plans in North America was ushered in by the City of Edmonton’s Urban Planning Committee in December 2020. Committee members unanimously approved the Safe Mobility Strategy 2021-2025 (SMS), to supersede the City’s largely successful 2016-2020 Road Safety Strategy. The Road Safety Strategy was the first plan in Canada to adopt a Vision Zero approach to traffic safety. The final 40-page Safe Mobility Strategy is the culmination of several detailed technical studies and discussion papers, including crash and equity analyses, and two volumes of input generated by the public engagement process.
Traffic fatalities in Edmonton fell by 56% and serious injuries by 30% between 2015 and 2019, and many of the most dangerous intersections in Edmonton have been treated with proven safety countermeasures. Thus, one major question for the team developing the new SMS, led by the City with the support of Toole Design’s Edmonton, AB staff, was how to build on the success of the previous strategy. The team drew inspiration from places like Helsinki and Oslo that had just recorded zero or close to zero fatalities in 2019, and from North American cities such as New York City, Boston, and Denver. They also recognized that Edmonton had to come up with its own plan.
The Strategy was developed using the City’s Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to inform a thorough analysis of crash data, complete a quantitative equity analysis, gather lived experiences through the engagement process, and identify actions to affect the design and cultural changes necessary to create a Safe System. The detailed crash analysis further enabled the City to develop a High Injury Network, broken down by mode, to identify specific corridors where serious injury and fatal crashes happen more frequently. Simultaneously, the Equity Analysis helped the project team understand how different populations experience transportation safety across Edmonton.
These quantitative data sources were complemented by an extensive engagement process designed to capture the lived experience of Edmontonians.
The SMS identified four themes and associated key actions that outline the critical steps necessary for a successful outcome. These actions effectively embed the strategy into the City’s corporate culture by directly connecting to broader policy goals of health, climate resilience, prosperity, and building urban places for people.
The final 40-page Safe Mobility Strategy is the culmination of several detailed technical studies and discussion papers, including the crash and equity analyses, and two volumes of input generated by the public engagement process.