Vision Zero implementation and how to improve its effectiveness in underserved communities – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Vision Zero implementation and how to improve its effectiveness in underserved communities

James Tran


Pronouns: he/him

Research Mentor(s): Tsu-Yin Wu, Director and Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Eastern Michigan University School of Nursing,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 19
Presenter: 1

Event Link


The Center for Health Disparities Innovation and Studies (CHDIS) team at EMU has begun working with the city of Hamtramck, a predominately ethnic and minority city on the outskirts of Detroit, in a mission to address public health deficiencies and disparities in underserved communities through policy change, community outreach/education, and general health promotion.  A core part of their proposal to the city is the implementation of a Vision Zero (VZ) strategy to combat the growing numbers of traffic accidents that has disproportionately affected the pedestrians/civilians of Hamtramck. VZ requires a complete overhaul on the relationship shared between road/transportation infrastructure and pedestrians/. This integral part to VZ presents various complications in the introduction and implementation of VZ policies into underserved cities/communities. In this study, I explored the significance and the role a city’s population size, population demographic, and the general socioeconomic status (median household income and poverty rate) of the average constituent is in determining the success/failure of a VZ initiative. I will be conducting a case study on the cities of Seattle, Washington; Macon-Bibb, Georgia; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to examine whether their major differences in population size, demographic, and socioeconomic status played a role in whether their VZ proposals and initiatives were more likely to work effectively or not.  Moreover, I will utilize yearly crash data provided by the cities respective state Departments of Transportation to look at crash reports involving pedestrians and whether they saw an increase or decrease in cases of death or serious injuries from the year prior to VZ implementation up until 2019. The results of this study highlighted overall VZ ineffectiveness in smaller cities/counties, but, more importantly, central to an effective and/or successful VZ proposal is strong and refined infrastructural support from city planners, city officials, community leaders, engineers, local law enforcement, and legislators. These findings will play a critical role for EMU’s CHDIS Physical Activity domain and their efforts in ushering and presenting an effective, equitable, accessible, and inclusive VZ strategy plan into Hamtramck’s future. In addition, the results of this study will provide clear objectives and goals when assessing whether certain counties/cities are fitted to task themselves with the commitment, implementation, and enforcement of VZ initiatives/policies. Future studies should delve deeper into how to better improve VZ initiatives to become more serviceable, equitable, and accessible to all communities. 

Authors: James Tran, Tsu-Yin Wu, Xining Yang
Research Method: Community Based Research

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