Yet while some places have managed to bend their traffic fatality curves, others have struggled to budge a transportation status quo that prioritizes the ease of driving over the safety of other people on the road. Since 2013, the numbers of deaths among U.S. pedestrians and cyclists have risen by nearly 30 percent and 14 percent respectively, nationwide.
That pattern is shared in several cities wearing the Vision Zero mantle, according to a CityLab analysis of traffic fatalities in five major cities that were among the first in the U.S. to establish Vision Zero targets. Three of the cities, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have seen fatalities rise or remain relatively flat. Two others, San Francisco and New York City, have made headway towards zero, but are seeing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities creep up more recently.