A Little Background
In the fall of 2013 I launched Slow Ottawa, a guide to sustainable urban living. This included a main site, a Twitter feed and a series of Pinterest boards that were largely devoted to images of sustainable infrastructure including complete streets, bikeways and even safe junctions. Those boards now have 9.6K followers, and last month they received more than 500K visitors.
A crucial aspects of placemaking is the provision for safe streets, including active mobility (e.g. walking and cycling) for people of all ages. In that respect too many communities have largely been failing us, to a greater or lesser extent, since the introduction of the motor car. To help restore more liveable streets I launched Vision Zero Canada in December 2015. This is part of an international ‘Vision Zero’ campaign devoted to the elimination of traffic deaths and serious injuries, with remarkable results in communities throughout the world.
The public face of Vision Zero Canada is a Twitter feed, with more than 1,000 followers at time of writing. It has been a great way to connect with safe streets colleagues worldwide. But it is still a very big tent, given the number of factors involved in the “safe systems” approach to traffic design outlined in Neil Arason’s crucial book No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads.
20’s Plenty For Us and Love 30
A few months into Vision Zero Canada I was contacted by Anna Semlyen. Anna is Campaign Manager of 20’s Plenty for Us, a tireless campaign for a default 20 mph speed limit in UK communities. Since there was no comparable campaign in Canada, I was soon pitching a Love 30 Canada campaign for 30 km/h safe streets. In late May I received the blessing of 20’s Plenty for Us Founder and Campaign Director Rod King, and the result is the site that you see here.
With its clear message and national scope Love 30 Canada feels like just the right size for me to manage. I’ll be seeking grant money and sponsors, but in the meantime I’ll be needing your financial support to offset the considerable debt I’ve incurred in the past six months. Founding donors will help me begin partnering with communities to implement safe speeds policies throughout Canada. That mission will require the continuing dedication of people on the ground (i.e. citizen volunteers and local councillors) as indicated on this page.
Thanks for spreading the word, and for letting me know how I can help make your communities safer. And thanks again if you can spare a few dollars at this critical stage.
Yours in solidarity,
Director, Love 30 Canada