Dávid Vitézy, previous chief of BKK, has plans to introduce his Vision Zero Budapest program on Oslo’s example. Thanks to the significant decreasing of traffic in the Norwegian capital, the number of fatal victims of road accidents has dropped to almost zero. Almost 50 people die from road accidents in Budapest each year.
According to Vitézy, Oslo’s low number of victims is due to their active decrease of traffic, the goal of which is specifically to lower the number of fatal and seriously injured victims of road accidents to zero. Many cities call this the Vision Zero project. Many roads were blocked off from cars in Oslo to achieve this, and in their place pedestrian streets and bicycle lanes were built. Seven hundred parking spaces in streets were removed from the capital, recognising that cheap public parking is part of the problem. The prices were raised. Passing traffic was mostly pushed out of the city centre, and the freed space was used to build new bus lanes and safer bicycle lanes, in just a few years. On main roads, the speed limits were lowered. Drivers pay more attention, drive more slowly and defensively on roads that do not tempt them to speed.
The decrease of traffic in Budapest is usually brought up in relation with environment protection and climate change, although the lowering of the number of accidents and number of fatal or seriously injured victims should be just as significant. The roads, the distribution of public places, the width of lanes, properly wide bicycle lanes all play into how safe the city is, and how tempted people are to get into their cars, and if they do, how tempted they are to speed.
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