City of Goleta Adopts Vision Zero Approach

Council Also Receives Update on Traffic Safety Improvements 

The City of Goleta is now a Vision Zero City. The Goleta City Council approved the adoption of the Vision Zero approach to governance at its February 20, 2024, meeting. The philosophy maintains that serious collisions on public roadways are preventable and that while collisions cannot be avoided altogether, there are steps you can take to avoid deaths and serious injuries.

Mayor Paula Perotte said, “Vision Zero policies promote building more safety and livability into a city’s circulation system for walkers, bicyclists, and motorists.  Our City has already taken significant steps to improve our safety and enjoyment, and even more enhancements are on their way.”

Supporting Vision Zero would prioritize more coordinated work efforts designed to eliminate traffic deaths and severe collisions in Goleta. The focus would be on Engineering, Education and Enforcement.

Increased speeds increase the likelihood of serious injury or death in a traffic collision. Consequently, engineering solutions tend to focus on a combination of speed reduction and stronger separation of people who are biking, walking, and driving.

Vision Zero originated in Sweden in 1997. As of 2020, the number of traffic-related deaths in Sweden has been reduced by over 65%. Sweden had 204 traffic-related fatalities in 2020, a record-breaking low, and a decrease from 772 deaths in 1990, even while the number of miles driven during the same period had grown.

Over 45 U.S. cities have adopted Vision Zero programs to reduce the number of fatal crashes occurring on their roads. California cities lead the way, with Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, La Mesa, Los Angeles, Monterey, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Watsonville having adopted Vision Zero strategies, and others are actively considering adoption.

The Council also received an update on the steps the City has taken to improve traffic safety including complete streets initiatives, intersection improvements, and improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian networks.  The presentation included a comprehensive update on the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Mater Plan and the Goleta Traffic Safety Study. 

The staff report is available here: