Vision Zero: Top-to-Bottom Review

Read the Report


In September 2022, SDOT Director Greg Spotts called for a top-to-bottom review of Vision Zero efforts to help us better understand why serious injuries and deaths on Seattle streets are on the rise, and to identify opportunities to reduce harm while creating a culture of care and dignity for all travelers.
This initial review focused on how we can deliver safety interventions with demonstrated effectiveness in locations where they are most needed. All recommended strategies and tactics are intended to inform further work to align funding, policies, procedures, and activities within a Safe System framework to support Vision Zero.

Community Feedback 

Our review considers the effects the pandemic had on streets locally and nationally, uses data to show where to focus investments, identifies internal challenges holding us back, and establishes 12 recommendations and 5 momentum-building actions to advance in 2023.
We’ve shared this report to engage with elected officials, stakeholders, and members of the community to provide important input into SDOT’s upcoming update of the Vision Zero Action Plan.

View community feedback on the review. 

Recent Vision Zero Presentations

The following meetings were open to the public and focused on: 

  • Sharing Vision Zero Review findings and how they will inform future decisions
  • Discussing five momentum-building actions we will implement in 2023
  • Welcoming public input and feedback from community members as we update the Vision Zero Action Plan


Meeting Date

Comment Letter

City Council Transportation Committee

Tuesday, March 7

Levy Oversight Committee

Tuesday, March 7

Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Wednesday, March 8

(Joint meeting)

Comment Letter

School Traffic Safety Committee

Friday, March 17

Seattle Freight Advisory Board

Tuesday, March 21

Comment Letter

Pedestrian Access Advisory Committee

Tuesday, March 21

Transit Advisory Board

Wednesday, March 22

Transportation Equity Workgroup

Monday, April 10

Comment Letter 

Next Steps

This report is neither the beginning nor the end of our Vision Zero work. Our recommendations are intended to spur action to make SDOT more effective in delivering Safe Systems and Vision Zero outcomes, and to provide an important input into SDOT’s upcoming update of the Vision Zero Action Plan.

Key Recommendations 

  1. Incorporate Vision Zero and Safe Systems approaches into every project and program
  2. Adopt clearer and stronger guidance for facility design 
  3. Clarify and streamline internal decision pathways
  4. Be willing to reduce vehicle travel speeds and convenience to improve safety
  5. Implement iterative, ongoing improvements to our infrastructure
  6. Accelerate planning for broader or systemwide implementation of proven interventions
  7. Secure funding to incorporate Vision Zero improvements in all projects and for asset maintenance
  8. Complete racial equity analysis of automated enforcement. Address inequities and where appropriate, use automated enforcement as a tool
  9. Shift culture and strengthen support for Vision Zero throughout SDOT 
  10. Strengthen and resource SDOT’s Vision Zero core and matrix teams
  11. Improve SDOT’s customer service response process
  12. Be champions for Vision Zero as we engage with WSDOT, the Port of Seattle, transit partners, the legislature, and other organizations   

Momentum-building actions

  1. Phase in additional “no turn on red” signs at downtown intersections.
  2. Accelerate leading pedestrian interval (LPI) rollout where existing signal systems can support it.
  3. Partner with Sound Transit to implement a series of improvements along Martin Luther King Jr. Way S to enhance safety for all travelers.
  4. Engage the public on automated enforcement to address equity concerns about future expansion in neighborhoods with many fatalities and serious injuries.
  5. Elevate City Traffic Engineer to a new Chief Safety Officer role

A group smiles while holding yellow Vision Zero tote bags at an SDOT community event.

A group of community members poses with Vision Zero tote bags, 2017. Photo credit: SDOT 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.