Safe Streets Halton was established with the aim of ensuring the safe travel of all individuals using the roads. Inspired by the success stories of cities that have eliminated traffic-related deaths and serious injuries (i.e. accomplished Vision Zero), we believe that Halton Region is capable of the same transformation. A region with zero traffic deaths and serious injuries. A region where walking and cycling are not only a safe option, but a compelling way of getting around. Kids playing in the streets, neighbours and friends having chance encounters, improved health and cleaner air – it’s not a pipe dream. In order for them to reach that goal, a collective voice is needed. Safe Streets Halton believes everyone should be able to travel safely, whether they decide to walk, cycle, or drive. They mission is to eliminate traffic deaths and improve the quality of life in Halton Region by enabling residents to safely and comfortably use sustainable and active modes of transportation.
As Safe Streets Halton was founded last year in May before the provincial elections, the group is still in the mists of structuring its activities. “This is probably the most challenging task at the moment,” SSH representatives. The main goal will be to advocate for vulnerable road users. For many years, society has been moving in a direction where everybody can drive a motor vehicle. This slowly morphed into an expectation that everybody “should” drive a motor vehicle. This mindset shift is currently ongoing and is reflected in engineers’ and politicians’ choices to move towards a more sustainable future. The most significant adjustment is needed in public infrastructure. Streets must be built for safe vehicle speeds to protect vulnerable road users first, including protected bike lanes, median islands to cross larger roads, and safe crosswalks for mid-block crossings.
As Safe Streets Halton is growing, a lot of projects need attention. Finding the right volunteers to support these projects across the region is complex. SSH has approximately forty volunteers and three members on its Board of Directors to tackle the various projects. “We are optimistic to find the right people for the areas, such as social media management, policy research, public outreach, and media or government relations,” continues Nick. Interested people can support Safe Streets Halton by volunteering, getting a membership, or donating to the cause.
One of their latest projects was a free transit opportunity for youth. With the support of Safe Streets Halton, the Town of Oakville was implementing a free transit pass for youth, inspired by the City of Kingston, ON. A council member approached Safe Streets Halton to prepare necessary information on transit-free opportunities for seniors and youth. They used data from Kingston and the trial of the City of Burlington to make transit free for youth and seniors 24/7. For the future, Safe Street Halton hopes the region will move towards a region-wide transit system or a cross-border route with high frequencies, safe cycling, and pedestrian infrastructure to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries on a downward trend.
Get involved with Safe Streets Halton:
- speaking to council
- speaking to the media
- graphic design
- event organization
- social media management
- website development
- writing (articles/blog posts/reports)