Case Study: Menlo Park, California

Vision Zero Adoption


Vision Zero Target




Aerial view of Menlo Park, Silicon Valley

Community Description

  • Menlo Park is a City in San Mateo County within the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is home to corporate headquarters of numerous venture capital, financial services, law firms, and other companies focusing on technology.
  • Menlo Park is located at the heart of a regional transportation network, bounded by freeways and transit systems that connect San Francisco and San Jose.


  • In Menlo Park, vulnerable populations are overrepresented in fatal and serious crashes, particularly people of color. Examples of contributing factors include unsafe speeds, older pedestrians, impaired driving, and state-owned roads.
  • Many major roads are state highways, e.g., SR-82 (El Camino Real), and they account for a significant portion of Menlo Park’s collisions and traffic. Safety issues require complex interactions between the City and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Safe System Focus

  • Safe Users
  • Safe Roadways
  • Safe Vehicles

  • Safety Speeds
  • Post-Crash Care
  • Planning and Culture

Safe Street and Roads for All (SS4A) Implementation Grants

Menlo Park stays up to date on relevant grant opportunities and is proactively pursuing funding for safety projects. The City’s Safety Action Plan includes a list of potential safety funding opportunities from federal, state, and local levels.   

Lessons Learned

  • The strong relationship between the City staff, stakeholders, community groups, and elected officials led to the development of a Safety Action Plan that includes strategies to advance its safety goals and institutionalize safety practices in its policies, programs, and operations.
  • Creating a Vision Zero coalition is not enough to sustain the Safe System approach. The coalition should meet regularly to oversee and facilitate delivery of safety projects and programs.

A street intersection with a pedestrian crossing the street and going towards the entrance of a grocery store with glass windows and a sliding door

  • Implementing the Safe System approach can be motivated by strong community leaders. In Menlo Park, commitment to safety began with a group of parents who advocated for road safety near schools.
  • Starting from a community that was already committed to making safety a priority resulted in City adoption of a Vision Zero policy and development of a Vision Zero Action Plan.
  • Holding meetings in both English and Spanish provided opportunity for various communities to actively participate in the process.

A colorful flyer promoting a city's Vision Zero Plan. A "Call to Action" heading is prominently displayed, the text encourages viewers to get involved in adopting Safe System to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. The flyer features the a circular icon representing the elements in a Safe System approach.

A flyer promoting a city's Vision Zero Plan with text in Spanish

Additional Resources