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Sao Paulo’s drive to promote pedestrian safety

Traffic fatalities in Sao Paulo dropped by 20 percent from 2014 to 2015. (Alf Ribeiro /

Sao Paulo is shifting into low gear to improve road safety.

Traffic fatalities dropped by 20 percent from 2014 to 2015 due to new measures that lower speeds and enhance walkability, according to the World Resources Institute. The policies emphasize protection of the most vulnerable: pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders.

The WRI’s Brasil Sustainable Cities initiative has played a central role in teaming with city leaders on safety-oriented solutions, the article says. It has issued studies, convened workshops, held seminars and recommended design changes.  

Speed reductions along major arteries in Brazil’s business and financial center — including the city’s two main corridors — have proven particularly successful. In addition, speeds on “select” streets with high levels of pedestrian and commercial activity are capped at 40 km/h (25 mph), the WRI notes.

The new policies dovetail with goals set by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The program aims to cut in half the number of deadly traffic accidents worldwide by 2020. 

World Resources Institute

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