SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah’s “Vision Zero” initiative is focused on curbing the number of pedestrian traffic deaths that occur every year. Part of this initiative involved adding new crosswalks to roads where traffic deaths are more frequent.

City officials tell WSAV more than 20 people lose their lives on Savannah streets every year in traffic related incidents.

“This is ground zero, it’s ground zero for vision zero. It’s not the first crosswalk in the city, it’s not the longest, but it’s an important one because it starts here, and it starts a new chapter with the city of Savannah and how we think about traffic safety and the safety of our pedestrians and bikers and everybody who wants to get around this great city of ours,” said Jay Melder, City Manager.

City Council voted to take on vision zero back in February, targeting zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries on public rights of way in the entire city of Savannah.

“Our intent is to do more. We need traffic calming all over the city, but right now, today, ground zero, vision zero, we’re going to do something about the traffic fatalities we’re having in Savannah and we want to take care of our elderly,” said Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, who helped champion the initiative in the 3rd district.

Friday morning, the new initiative launched in the 3rd district at the intersection of Wheaton and Cedar street. Placing a crosswalk in an area of town with high foot traffic, right down the road from a senior living community.

Under “Vision Zero,” the city’s goal is to reach zero pedestrian traffic deaths by 2027.

Officials say, this new crosswalk will help increase the safety of pedestrians in an area of Savannah that has a high intensity of foot traffic, and one that has seen several pedestrian deaths in recent years.

“Truly for vision zero, one of the most important freedoms that we have out there in the united states of America is the freedom of mobility, and for too long we have not championed that effort, but that begins today of a new safer crosswalk for all ages, all users, and all abilities including our seniors who are with us today,” explained Alderman Nick Palumbo.

You can submit street concerns that you feel may benefit from this project to two places: the city’s traffic engineering department and the city’s transportation unit department.