The City Council has adopted the 2023-2025 Minneapolis Vision Zero Action Plan, which outlines priorities for the next three years to advance the City’s goal of ending traffic deaths and severe injuries by 2027.
The updated plan builds on the work of the 2020-2022 Vision Zero Action Plan and draws on information in the 2022 Vision Zero Crash Study to inform priority actions. An average of 150 people suffered life-altering injuries or were killed in traffic crashes each year on streets in Minneapolis from 2017 to 2021. That is unacceptable and preventable. Traffic crashes disproportionately impact people in neighborhoods with lower incomes, Native American residents and people walking and bicycling.
The plan features 17 strategies and 78 actions to be implemented between 2023 and 2025. Strategies and actions include four focus areas:
- Make safety improvements on high injury streets. In Minneapolis, 66% of severe and fatal crashes happen on just 9% of the streets citywide. The City and partners will continue to proactively install traffic safety treatments on high injury streets.
- Advance street designs to reduce dangerous vehicle speeds. Speeding has increased since 2020 and was a factor in 64% of fatal crashes in 2022. Lower traffic speeds save lives by reducing the likelihood of a crash and by making it less likely a crash that does happen will be deadly. The City will expand use of treatments that support safe speeds on busier streets and pilot new measures.
- Work to implement a traffic safety camera pilot of automated enforcement. The City is seeking legislative authority to implement a traffic safety camera pilot program for speeding or red light running. Once there is legislative authority, the City will develop details for a local pilot program informed by significant community engagement. Automated traffic enforcement has proven effective at saving lives and eliminates the need for officer interaction.
- Evaluate alternative approaches to staffing and implementing traffic enforcement while addressing discriminatory outcomes and building trust. Due to a variety of factors, traffic stops are down significantly in recent years. The City is working to evaluate alternative approaches to staffing and implementing traffic enforcement and to implement reforms to address racial disparities in traffic stops.
Dangerous speeding remains major public safety challenge
In 2022, 23 people were tragically killed in crashes on streets in Minneapolis. There were an additional 184 severe, life-altering, injury crashes, according to the 2023 Minneapolis Vision Zero Annual Report.
There were more severe injury crashes in 2022 than any year in the last decade—even as all traffic crashes were at the lowest level in generations. High speeding continues to be the biggest traffic safety challenge with 64% of fatal crashes in 2022 involving speeding – some shockingly reckless. For instance, a 6 year old was killed by a driver who ran a stop sign on 53rd Avenue North at 94 mph, and a 60 year old was killed by a driver who ran a red light on Portland Avenue at 100 mph.
The updated 2023-2025 Vision Zero Action Plan includes additional focus on addressing dangerous speeding. This a complex challenge and it is essential we address it to reach Vision Zero.
Highlights of Vision Zero work in 2022
Despite the ongoing challenge of addressing high speeding and its impacts, the City did make significant progress in 2022 toward Vision Zero goals, including:
- Quick-build safety improvements, such as curb extensions and safety islands, were installed at 141 intersections along high injury streets.
- Crews installed a 4-to-3 lane safety conversion on East 31st Street and on Lyndale Avenue South in partnership with Hennepin County. These 4-3 lane conversions reduce vehicle speeds and create safer street crossings.
- Seventeen neighborhood traffic circles were funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- The City established a new process for prioritizing requests for traffic calming measures on neighborhood streets.