Arlington Receives 2024 Vision Zero for Youth U.S. Leadership Award

Published on May 10, 2024

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Arlington County was recognized Friday by the National Center for Safe Routes to School as the 2024 recipient of the Vision Zero for Youth U.S. Leadership Award. Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools received praise for their commitment, leadership and collaboration to improve safety for Arlington’s youngest travelers through the Vision Zero initiative.

"Arlington’s work to prioritize safe walking and biking for youth exemplifies Vision Zero for Youth leadership," said Nancy Pullen-Seufert, Director at the National Center for Safe Routes to School, part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. "In all aspects of this work, the County demonstrates a commitment to assessment, improvement and pushing forward to action for streets that are safer and more inviting for active travel. We are honored to recognize Arlington’s efforts and accomplishments and hope their work will be emulated in other communities across the country."

WATCH: Vision Zero for Youth U.S. Leadership Award Presentation Ceremony

The award committee was impressed by Arlington’s wide-ranging traffic calming strategies, such as 20 mph slow zones on streets near schools; accessible school zone retrofits and initiation of speed cameras in school zones; the use of data to prioritize equity emphasis areas and areas around schools for safety improvements, followed by accessible quick-build and pilot projects when possible; inclusion of the needs of youth in its Vision Zero Action Plan; and actively seeking engagement and input from community members in an inclusive way.

"We are committed to ensuring students and children are safe while traveling to school and around the County," said Libby Garvey, Arlington County Board Chair. "Through these novel strategies and safety improvements, we continue our efforts to eliminate severe and fatal crashes and make Arlington a safer and more accessible community for everyone, including our youngest residents."

The National Center for Safe Routes to School presented Arlington County and APS with the award at Washington-Liberty High School. The school has a chapter of the Arlington Road Safety Club, a student-led initiative focused on creating awareness and educating their peers about safe travel in Arlington. The high school is also a stop along Escuela Key Elementary School’s “bike bus” (Bicbus) route.

“This prestigious accolade is a testament to our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students who walk and bike to school,” said David Priddy, Interim School Board Chair, Arlington Public Schools. “I am proud of our commitment and collaboration to eliminate severe injuries and fatalities among our children and adolescents. I want to thank Arlington County for its continued partnership.”

The Vision Zero for Youth U.S. Leadership Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes cities, counties or tribal governments that are taking crucial steps to stop severe injuries and deaths among child and youth pedestrians and bicyclists. The award highlights noteworthy practices and inspires other cities to take action. Past recipients include Los Angeles; New York City; Fremont, Calif.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Seattle. The Milwaukee SRTS Program received an innovation award during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vision Zero Action Plan is in its third year of implementation as the County works toward the goal of zero injuries and fatalities in our transportation network by 2030. Find more information on the Vision Zero webpage, including maps and safety data, safety project implementation, and community engagement.

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