Community organizations working to implement new safety programs in order to reduce traffic related incidents in local neighborhoods will be together awarded $317,000 in Vision Zero grants, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on December 11. Local non-profit organizations and D.C. Government agencies are eligible to receive the grants to help realize D.C.’s plan “Vision Zero” that aims decreasing traffic accidents and fatal injuries within the transportation system of the District. The Vision Zero initiative was started by the D.C. mayor to bring traffic accidents and serious injuries down to zero by 2024 through better roadways, traffic safety education and more effective implementation of traffic laws. “As we push to improve the safety of our transportation system, we are paying special attention to communities that experience a disproportionate share of preventable crashes,” said Bowser, adding that she was congratulating the winners of Vision Zero grant: “Each of you have a unique role to play in partnering with us to create safer, stronger streets.” The Vision Zero grants awardees for the fiscal year 2019 include Ward 7 Business Partnership which has been given $87,000. The organization will be starting a one-year safety program called “Walkable Ward 7” which will improve signage, crossings for pedestrians, pick-up drop-off zones, and hold local festivals with planned urbanism techniques. Among other awardees is Gearin’ Up Bicycles, a non-profit bicycle service shop located in Ward 5, which has been awarded $108,000 financial grant. The group works on career development of youth coming from low-income communities. Safe Routes to School National Partnership is another organization to be awarded a Vision Zero grant of $117,000. It creates “Safe Routes for Youth” which is a program focusing on teens in Wards 7 and 8, developing youth leadership and promoting “a culture of injury-free, healthy active transportation.” District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Jeff Marootian said Mayor Bowser is committed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in all eight wards of the District. “We are excited that this year’s grant winners will boost the social equity of the Vision Zero initiative,” said Marootian.