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Anne Arundel County adopts Vision Zero traffic plan

Anne Arundel County Fire Department members help clear the site of an automobile crash May 25, 2017. Anne Arundel County has become the latest in the state to adopt the Vision Zero plan, in an effort to decrease the number of traffic-related collisions and deaths. (Photo courtesy WBFF-TV).

Anne Arundel County has become the latest in the state to adopt the Vision Zero plan, in an effort to decrease the number of traffic-related collisions and deaths.

The county is now set to receive grants at the federal and state level to help implement some strategies that the county has created.

Anne Arundel County was responsible for 19% of speeding fatalities in the Baltimore region, which covers six counties and Baltimore city, in 2020. The 49 fatalities in Anne Arundel County were up from 42 in 2019.

According to the Vision Zero Draft Plan for Anne Arundel County, the goal is to be at 18 fatalities in 2030 and zero by 2040. The trend is similar for serious injuries, which they are aiming for 153 in 2030 and 102 in 2040.

While analyzing traffic-related fatalities to develop the plan, Anne Arundel County has created four points of emphasis that they will focus on: infrastructure related, human behavior, vulnerable road users and road user types.

Infrastructure related looks at windy roads, busier intersections, work zone collisions and other aspects that make driving in the area more dangerous. Human behavior looks at impaired and distracted driving and speeding. Vulnerable road users look at people that are a part of the traffic population, but outside of a car, such as pedestrians, bicyclists and walkers. Road user types look at age groups, specifically people ages 16 to 20 and 65 and older.

“Changing behavior is probably one of the biggest challenges faced by any program such as Vision Zero,” Tanya Asman, bicycle and pedestrian senior planner for the Office of Transportation, said in an email. “Aggressive educational campaigns that may include incentives or positive messaging will likely be a strategy.”

Asman said the county used the Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan as a baseline for the Anne Arundel County plan and also looked at other counties statewide to see what they were doing. They have also looked at other states’ success with their plans to help develop one for Anne Arundel County.

The county is still in the early stages of planning so the final details have not been worked out, but Asman said the state and federal funding can go toward implementation and development of action plans as well as infrastructure projects.

Asman said the plan is being developed by multiple agencies and that they will need to work together toward the goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2040 for the plan to work.

“The most important factor is an ongoing commitment by the county government, as well as by the agencies involved in affecting change to the roadways and their use, to implement the action plan and provide adequate funding to do so,” she added.