2020 National Planning Conference

Vision Zero: Suburban Challenges, Suburban Solutions

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 10:45 a.m. - noon PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198207

Location: 2007

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  • Identify strategies for applying Vision Zero on high-speed suburban roadways within their communities, as demonstrated by the first suburban jurisdiction to adopt Vision Zero.
  • Learn about tools to advocate for Vision Zero in suburban jurisdictions through data collection and analysis, direct observation and establishment of a constituency to promote safe streets for all users.
  • Explore a combination of bold, short-term interventions to address immediate safety concerns and long-range master plans to transform suburban corridors into safe, multimodal complete streets.


It took 50 years to construct a suburban roadway network that prioritizes motor vehicle travel over walking and bicycling. Bold interventions and long-range master plans are needed to re-envision high-speed suburban roadways as safe multimodal corridors and eliminate traffic-related fatalities. Learn about strategies for applying Vision Zero in suburban communities, where the premise of the built environment is the ability to travel quickly over long distances. The panelists draw on their experiences in implementing short-term interventions to address immediate safety concerns and reimaging a suburban corridor through a long-range master plan in Montgomery County, Maryland.

While many cities benefit from development patterns and travel networks that convey “slow down,” suburban development patterns and traditional highway design has created an environment that screams “speed up.” The panelists discuss how achieving Vision Zero in the suburbs requires an expanded toolkit of strategies beyond those traditionally applied in cities. They introduce two case studies to demonstrate the application of Vision Zero in the suburbs, including a bold short-term intervention designed and constructed to address an immediate safety concern and a long-term master plan that envisions the transformation of a suburban arterial into a safe, multimodal complete street.

Session Speakers

Elizabeth Gordon
Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
baltimore, MD

Jessica McVary, AICP
MNCPPC Montgomery Cnty Plng
Washington, DC

David Anspacher
Montgomery County Planning Department
Silver Spring, MD

Andrew Tsai
Montgomery County Department of Parks
Silver Spring