Poster: Equity Analysis for Alexandria Vision Zero
Recently, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to develop a “Vision Zero” policy and program as a part of its updated transportation master plan. “Vision Zero” is a road safety policy that aims to achieve a transportation system in which there are zero fatalities or serious injuries for all modes of transportation. First adopted by Sweden in 1997, Vision Zero takes a proactive approach to road safety by identifying risk and taking steps to prevent injuries. It also has social equity embedded as the core principle in its framework. Historically, traffic related crashes have disproportionately impacted vulnerable communities and system users – including people of color, low income individuals, seniors, children, and pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. These inequities are addressed in the Vision Zero framework by prioritizing interventions in areas that need most safety improvements. Thus, before implementing the Vision Zero Plan in the City of Alexandria, it is essential to assess the traffic safety and vulnerability of communities/groups through a comprehensive crash data analysis. This study aims to identify the vulnerable communities who are impacted in the crashes through an equity analysis. It also includes policy recommendations for implementation in the Vision Zero program.
Confirmed SpeakerShubha Punase is a recent graduate from Virginia Tech NCR, Alexandria, Virginia, with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. She is a registered architect in her native India with over five years of experience in architectural and community planning projects. As an urban planner, she has gained a diversified experience in local planning context by pursuing multiple internships during her full-time master's program. This includes her work at the City of Alexandria GIS Division as a GIS Analyst Intern, and at the Alexandria Waterfront Parks Division as a Project Management Intern. She has also worked at AECOM Baltimore and NoMa BID Washington DC as an Urban Planning Intern adding the private and public-private partnership experience to her portfolio. Her outstanding academic performance at the Virginia Tech master's program received recognition with an "Outstanding Student Achievement Award" at the 2016 APA Virginia Chapter's Annual Conference. Moreover, her graduate school capstone project poster "Equity analysis for Alexandria Vision Zero" was among the projects showcased at the 2017 APA National Planning Conference. The project analyzed the traffic safety of the vulnerable communities in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. As a preliminary study for City's Vision Zero Plan, her study carried out an equity analysis of traffic related fatalities and severe injuries, and used a combination of descriptive, spatial, and statistical methods for the analysis. Apart from this she also gained considerable experience in community engagement through her volunteering work at the non-profit organization SPIC MACAY. This involved strategic planning, marketing, publicity, communication, and event planning for the local and regional communities in the Bhopal area, India.